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|News||American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism||Recommended Links||British roots of US Russophobia||Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine||Cold War II||Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukrainegate|
|NeoMcCartyism||NSC -- a sinister organization that controls the President and ensures militarization of the USA foreign policy||Demonization of Putin||Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0||Perfidious Albion||Anti-Russian hysteria in connection with DNC leak and emailgate||Anti-Russian hysteria as a method of suppressing of dissent against neoliberalism and militarism|
|Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism||False flag poisonings||Skripal poisoning||Litvinenko poisoning||Russia fight for multipolarity||History of American False Flag Operations||DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin|
|Magnitsky case||Nulandgate||The Rape of Russia||Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border||Peak Cheap Energy and Temporary Oil Price Slump||Putin-did-it fiasco||Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA|
|USA-Russia Gas War||British poisoning false flags||MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage||Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR||Obama: a yet another Neocon||Professor Steven Cohen||Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria|
|Hillary role in Syria bloodbath||Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization||Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie||Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism||Post-Russiagate remorse -- Russiagate as the second Iraq WDM fiasco||Diplomacy by deception||Net hamsters|
|Pussi Riot Provocation||Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism||Khodorkovsky case||Boris Berezovsky||Internet research agency story as fiasco of Russiagate||Russiagate: Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition||Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case|
|Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few||The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment||America and the Imperial Project||Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair||Neoliberal Compradors||Navalny's Saga||Nemtsov assassination|
|Color revolutions||The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee||Russian Color Revolution of 2012||From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss||The Real War on Reality||Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?||Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine|
|Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns||Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie||America and the Imperial Project||"Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries||Economics of Peak Energy||The Deep State||Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"|
|Russian foreign policy||Anatol Leiven on American Messianism||Brain Drain||American Exceptionalism||Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts||Humor||Soft propaganda|
They told Gorbachev, 'We promise if you agree to a reunited Germany in NATO, NATO will not move-this was Secretary of State
James Baker-one inch to the east. In other words, NATO would not move from Germany toward Russia. And it did.
The degradation of mainstream American press coverage of Russia, a country still vital to US national security, has been under way for many years. If the recent tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and magazines - particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and, unfailingly, President Vladimir Putin - is an indication, this media malpractice is now pervasive and the new norm. The Nation (February 12, 2014)
What Putin came to power to do was to modernize Russia, and that does not involve a cold war with the West. Period. End of story. That's his mission. He wants to go down in history as the man who did this. Cold war, not to mention hot war, is spoiling what he sees as his mission.
When Putin began talking about Russia's sovereignty, Russia's independent course in world affairs, they're (the Washington elites) aghast... This is not what they expected... Putin was kind of the right person for the right time, both for Russia and for Russian world affairs.
The people who created Russiagate are literally saying, and have been for almost three years, that the president of the United States is a Russian agent, or he has been compromised by the Kremlin. I don't know if there has ever been anything like this in American history... That accusation does such damage to our own institutions, to the presidency, to our electoral system, to Congress, to the American mainstream media, not to mention the damage it's done to American-Russian relations, the damage it has done to the way Russians, both elite Russians and young Russians, look at America today. This whole Russiagate has not only been fraudulent, it's been a catastrophe.
The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China
This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were influenced by late Professor Stephen F. Cohen whom I really admire and follow. The US neoliberal elite became unhinged and adopted "Full Spectrum Domination" doctrine after the collapse of the USSR. That did not play well nether for the US national security nor the world, to say nothing about Russia. The real 101 on this topic are two his presentations:
Russophobia is not actually only about Russia. Actually it is more about American exceptionalism and imperialism (and for of all Full spectrum Dominance doctrine). That's why neocons, who are well paid prostitutes of MIC, are such rabid Russophobes. In more way then one it is a modern politically correct version of anti-Semitism practiced by the USA neoliberal elite.
Like anti-Semitism it is a wedge issues, which enhances the level social control of US population and suppression of dissent, which now can be framed as "Russian agents" in best McCarthyism traditions (NeoMcCartyism ).
Amy scapegoating of the particular nations/ethnicity is very similar, almost identical in sprit to anti-Semitism. In the definition below I just replaced terms in Wikipedia definition of Anti-Semitism:
Russophobia is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Russians. A person who holds such positions is called an Russophobe. Russophobia is generally considered to be a form of racism. It has also been characterized as a political ideology which serves as an organizing principle and unites disparate groups which are opposed to liberalism.
Russophobia may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Russians...
Here is another "adapted" definition (from The UK s Labor Party and Its Anti-Semitism Crisis) The definition states:
"Russophobia is a certain perception of Russians, which may be expressed as hatred toward Russians. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of Russophobia are directed toward Russian or non-Russian individuals and/or their property, toward Russian community institutions and religious facilities."
The uncontroversial "illustrations" of Russophobia:
- Advocating the killing or harming of Russians for ideological or religious reasons;
- Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Russians as such;
- Holding Russians as a people responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Russian person or group;
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic McCarthyism (e.g., equating Russians with Soviets and Russians with communists);
- Holding Russians collectively responsible for actions of the Russian state or the USSR;
Scapegoating is an important part of the neoliberal Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda. Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and was evoked as a defensive tool when the neoliberal elite experienced the loss of legitimacy as happened in 2016. As ROB URIE noted in his Russiagate, Nazis, and the CIA (Jul 31, 2020) CIA was Russophobic organization from the very beginning and it infects the USA political establishment with Russophobia more effectively then COVID-19 infects US population:
The first Cold War was an imperial business enterprise to keep the Generals, bureaucrats, and war materiel suppliers in power and their bank accounts flush after WWII. Likewise, the American side of the nuclear arms race left former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA to put their paranoid fantasies forward as assessments of Russian military capabilities. Why, of all people, would former Nazi officers be put in charge military intelligence if accurate assessments were the goal? The Nazis hated the Soviets more than the Americans did.
The ideological binaries of Russiagate -- for or against Donald Trump, for or against neoliberal, petrostate Russia, define the boundaries of acceptable discourse to the benefit of deeply nefarious interests. The U.S. has spent a century or more trying to install a U.S.-friendly government in Moscow. Following the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the U.S. sent neoliberal economists to loot the country as the Clinton administration, and later the Obama administration, placed NATO troops and armaments on the Russian border after a negotiated agreement not to do so . Subsequent claims of realpolitik are cover for a reckless disregard for geopolitical consequences.
...Russiagate is the nationalist party line in the American fight against communism, without the communism. Charges of treason have been lodged every time that military budgets have come under attack since 1945. In 1958 the senior leadership of the Air Force was charging the other branches of the military with treason for doubting its utterly fantastical (and later disproven) estimate of Soviet ICBMs. Treason is good for business.
Shortly after WWII ended, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi military officers, including former Gestapo and SS officers responsible for murdering tens and hundreds of thousands of human beings , to run a spy operation known as the Gehlen Organization from Berlin, Germany. Given its central role in assessing the military intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union, the Gehlen Organization was more likely than not responsible for the CIA's overstatement of Soviet nuclear capabilities in the 1950s used to support the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Former Nazis were also integrated into CIA efforts to install right wing governments around the world.
...To understand the political space that military production came to occupy, from 1948 onward the U.S. military became a well-funded bureaucracy where charges of treason were regularly traded between the branches. Internecine battles for funding and strategic dominance were (and are) regularly fought. The tactic that this bureaucracy -- the 'military industrial complex,' adopted was to exaggerate foreign threats in a contest for bureaucratic dominance. The nuclear arms race was made a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the U.S. produced world-ending weapons non-stop for decades on end, the Soviets responded in kind.
...The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 was met with a promised reduction in U.S. military spending and an end to the Cold War, neither of which ultimately materialized. Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Cold War entered a new phase. Cold War logic was repurposed to support the oxymoronic 'humanitarian wars' -- liberating people by bombing them. In 1995 'Russian meddling' meant the Clinton administration rigging the election of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian presidential election. Mr. Clinton then unilaterally reneged on the American agreement to keep NATO from Russia's border when former Baltic states were brought under NATO's control .
The Obama administration's 2014 incitement in Ukraine , by way of fostering and supporting the Maidan uprising and the ousting of Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, ties to the U.S. strategy of containing and overthrowing the Soviet (Russian) government that was first codified by the National Security Council (NSC) in 1945. The NSC's directives can be found here and here . The economic and military annexation of Ukraine by the U.S. (NATO didn't exist in 1945) comes under NSC10/2 . The alliance between the CIA and Ukrainian fascists ties to directive NSC20 ....
The recent example of Russophobia in the USA was neo-McCarthyism campaign which was nicknamed "Russiagate", which represents classic gaslighting of the population strategy. A common tactic used to promote the Russiagate narrative was unnamed officials making statements to the press without providing evidence or any factual basis to their claims. Another common tactic was frequent media appearances by former intelligence officials, like James Clapper and John Brennan, usually making wild accusations about Trump and Russia. These tactics are being repeated to promote an anti-China narrative.
The loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite which resulted in political fiasco of the establishments candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- is why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream with all major neoliberal MSM promoting it with the level of coordination that might cause some envy of stalwarts of Bolsheviks press.
Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in 70th. It's like boy who cried wolf: people just stop trust neoliberal media and this process already started in 2019 with Rachel MadCow being one of the first victim: she lost half a million viewers (may be temporary, as she is a talented demagogue, but still).
The current crisis of neoliberalism and discreditation of neoliberal ideology (2008 and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) created conditions in which reinventing "Red Scare" again became important, as a tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population and crushing the dissent.
It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome. USA elite inherited it from British elite. In this sense the current US neoliberal empire can be called the Western British Empire (the term which creates several interesting historical analogies, including its possible length of existence ;-)
American neoliberal elite like the British elite before now badly need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophobia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent. Another goal is to prevent the alliance of Germany and Russia -- which was the goal of British foreign policy for two centuries.
The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world. And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of US population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them. Like with Voice of America in the past, it is not necessary to buy Russian propaganda to see where neoliberal MSM completely distort the world event and hide important information. For those purposes RT can serve perfectly well.
In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would also consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing anti-Semitism. Kind of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct) nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency.
There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations). Now they probably might understand better what it means to be the target of anti-Semitism. As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com ):
"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."
While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of a complete vassal of the USA, the role that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR. And the role which was temporary Russia performed under drunk Yeltsin.
In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order -- the global neoliberal empire led by the USA. That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to global "neoliberal project" -- neoliberal World Revolution (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate.
Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as
and other similar cliché that clearly remind cliché used by German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory as well as WikiLeaks depiction of the USA war crimes.
The hatred of Russia now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM. It actually seves as a pretty good smokescreen for the loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries as Btitish empire considers Russia as a threat to British interwsts in India and the region :
The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public's "antipathy toward Russia" as the "most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad."
The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite-and was off base, anyway, since Britain's foreign policy was actually "more provocative than Russia's" in this period. Others concur. "The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,"
While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):
The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites
Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.
In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).
In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.
It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.
... ... ...
Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.
US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.
First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.
In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.
Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.
In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.
And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.
Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War
If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.
There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!
... ... ...
On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?
It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.
So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".
In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.
In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.
It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.
During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonably and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation.
Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation. Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen by the CIA in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia. But those were exception, rather then the rule. Probably the memory of the WWII and the level of cooperation of two countries in this war as allies still played some role in such restrain.
But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power. This new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour.
This adventurism backfired. This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright). they failed to utilize pro-USA fe4elings of the Russian population after the dissolution of the USA. Should the USA adopt the Marshall plan for Russia those feelings would be preserved. But the Clinton administration decided to loot Russia and concert it into a vassal state. That was a strategic mistake, although looting succeeded on a really grand stale (several trillions were stolen) with the help of Harvard mafia and Russian compradors. The instituted shock therapy for the Russian economics which plunged it into depression which was worse thatn the one which was coursed by the Germany aggression in WWII. Many important enterprises went bankrupts, other were bought by foreign investors for pennies on the dollar (Browder was one notable example of this "looting gang" that descended on Russia at the time; Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky and other Jewish oligarchs were another important players in this looting)
Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy) and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban.
Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstained in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died"). Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 just to balance the state budget).
It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.
But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise. And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy, which was dutifully continued by Trump administration (actually the USA foreign policy does not depend of who is in power as the President and who is the Secretary of State; it is controlled by the Deep State -- forces outside elected executive branch and which consist of MIC, intelligence agencies and the Wall Street (financial oligarchy) as well as created by then think tanks such and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)).
Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. Gorbachov is generally considered in Russia as a traitor of the nation. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it).
But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative. After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated and "Athlantists" group enough Russian neoliberal elite lost a lot of influence and became politically ostracized. . In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years. That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends.
But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the US domination. That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA. This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite. This view only became stronger under Trump administration.
I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer" strategy of British Empire, might be a geopolitical mistake despite short term dividends this action brought to the USA geopolitical position in the region. It also increase the changes of WWIII, which definitely would mean end of the USA as the global empire and probably as a country (the same is true for Russia -- both countries will be completely devastated)
Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs.
That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.
This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.
The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat". Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.
My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment). I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).
Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR. Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.
But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:
Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.
Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.
The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.
In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.
What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.
First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.
Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.
If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.
My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile
As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I'm a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.
However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).
I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:
- Their journalists tend to obfuscate facts and concrete numbers with rumors and assumptions;
- they share their biases with those of the liberal opposition who are their most frequent interlocutors, and reflect an ignorance of the broad ideological diversity across Russian politics and media;
- and they frequently condemn Russia for things that just as prevalent or even more so in countries considered Western and democratic.
This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it's the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.
...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.
Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.
|The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.|
Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.
Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.
It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.
Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.
Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):
In any case, our taste for a country-favorable or unfavorable-shouldn't dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today's heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America's most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.
So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end-if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program-is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia-on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators-will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.
And the "Russia Is Doomed" syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.
The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.
The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.
From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.
From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.
It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:
"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution
Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.
The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.
As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect - WSJ.com
Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).
We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.
See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information
Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.
It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture
I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.
I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer).
For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.
In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).
There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.
This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.
|"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.|
Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.
kievite:April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pmmarknesop
This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :
"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "
First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That's the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.
So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev's actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.
In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit' druzhno" (Let's be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.
Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.
And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What's the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.kievite
Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia's official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.April 14, 2011 at 1:21 ammarknesop
Very true. Thanks for the response.
You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can't abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That's a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.
At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.
Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That's where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it's not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.
The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am
Yes, you're right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It's funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it's Russia that's held up as the consummate corporate raider.
I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There's no reason foreign companies shouldn't have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We'll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.
It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".
Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):
2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica
Danos tu opinión
Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.
Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo
For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar
The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)
- Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
- Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
- By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
- The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the "anglo" reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the "zionist" reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term "zionist" referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
- The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
- The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
- In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
- If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
- Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
- Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
- All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
- In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don't want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
- The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people's of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
- If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world's "left" – or whatever remains of it - would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
- A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
- Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
- The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.
The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.
- The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
- The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
- The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
- Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
- The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
- Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
- Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
- The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
- The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
- Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
- The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
- Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
- The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
- The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
- The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
- Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
- The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
- While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
- The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality."
The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One
Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).
Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.
Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.
And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.
It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.
No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.
See Demonization of Putin for more details.
Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).
Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov
A Dispassionate View on Russophobia
Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.
Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.
What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.
We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.
Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.
However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.
When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.
By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.
Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.
Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.
In short, we are dealing with a déjà vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .
Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!
Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.
At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.
However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.
In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.
Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.
The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.
And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.
The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of "prisoners of conscience" was created from academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.
The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.
To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):
1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.
This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as
During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:
Background of propaganda attacks against Russia
...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".
This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."
Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.
"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine-all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."
...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....
Summary of chapters
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul's analysis. Introduction
Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.
"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace." Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda
Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology." 1.Part One: External Characteristics
Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life. The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen's entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual's capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization. Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.
"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's
aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual's indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda's grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.
The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"
These currents reinforce socieand hold man's mjor convictions and propa
Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:
Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people. There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.
Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.
Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members' behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life." This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual's way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual's way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don't are bad.
Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.
Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:
Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.
Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda
The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions
Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.
"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda's intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."
"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda
All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity
The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual's Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual's part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda
The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas." The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda's ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual's personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects
"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him." 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology
An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity. 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.
"The Lonely Crowd"
The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.
In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.
Fundamental currents in society
"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody." While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."
While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."
Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members' behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life." This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual's way of life and represents this way of life as best.
See also  Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality
British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real placeTremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.
After 2008 neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection.
And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.
Sanctions, as damaging as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get. See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (ecnomicpolicyjournal.com, April 28, 2014):
"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."
So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.
Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."
Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.
Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.
So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.
The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
Jan 19, 2021 | twitter.com
No, I am not excited for the inauguration of a man who: Wrote the crime and bankruptcy bills, voted for the Iraq War, took more money from Wall Street than Trump, and told a room of rich donors that "nothing will fundamentally change." Democrats are part of the problem too.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jan 19 2021 22:48 utc | 47
Lavrov at his annual recent year-in-review presser had the following to say about the behavior of the Outlaw US Empire and its Western vassals:
"Unfortunately, not everywhere and not always has this quest for solidarity and joint work manifested itself during the pandemic. Some of our Western colleagues, primarily the United States and its closest allies, tried to take advantage of the situation and to ratchet up pressure, blackmail, ultimatums and illegitimate actions while introducing unilateral restrictions and other forms of interference in the internal affairs of many countries, including our closest neighbour Belarus.
"The West unanimously ignored the calls by the UN Secretary General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to suspend, at least for the duration of the pandemic, unilateral and illegitimate sanctions regarding the supply of medications, food and equipment needed to fight the virus while Russia was ready to back up this approach. President Putin put forward a parallel initiative during the G20 summit to create green corridors in the economy that are free from sanctions and other artificial barriers. Unfortunately, these sensible appeals - both ours and those of the UN leaders - were left hanging in the air.
"Last year we observed the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, the birth of the United Nations and the entry into force of its Charter. Against the backdrop of these anniversaries, we are very concerned about the continuous arrogant actions of the United States and most of its Western allies, which are aimed at undermining international security, which is based on the UN, its Charter and its agencies and replacing the traditional norms and standards of international law with a "rules-based international order.'"
Lavrov then proceeds to indict the EU for promoting "multilateralism" outside the framework of the UN in a manner meant to replace the UN with EU diktats: "The EU views the establishment of specific rules as its exclusive right in the belief that all others must follow these standards. Examples are many." Thus the EU follows the Outlaw US Empire's lead. Lavrov then shares his own analysis:
"[T]hese are apprehensions of competition and the understanding that in today's world the West can no longer dictate its own orders to others as it has over the last five centuries. History is moving forward, it is developing. This has nothing to do with ideology. This is just a statement of fact. It is necessary to consider the views of the countries that now have a much greater weight in the world arena (completely incomparable with that of the colonial era) and the countries that want to preserve their civilisational identity and that do not see in the West the ideals for their societies. Tolerance of diversity is another characteristic that the West is losing very quickly."
And all that is connected to other related developments:
"There are situations where half a dozen people that have created their own technological empires do not even want to know what rights they have in their own states. They determine their rights themselves proceeding from so-called corporate standards and completely ignore the constitutions of their states. We have seen this clearly in the US and this is a source of deep concern . Much has been said about this recently in television reports and special analytical materials. We are not pleased by the attempts of the Western elites to find external enemies to resolve their internal political problems. They find these enemies in Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. The list of these countries is well known. [Yet, Lavrov insists there's no ideology involved, a point of contention I have with him.]
"We all see the response to the news of Alexey Navalny's return to the Russian Federation. Carbon-copy comments on this event are coming in one after another. They are full of joy because they allow Western politicians to think that in this way they can divert public attention away from the deepest crisis of the liberal development model.
"I am convinced that it is necessary not to seek outside excuses to justify one's own actions or sidetrack attention from one's deepest problems and crises. On the contrary, it is essential to play an honest game and look for opportunities to resolve domestic problems via fair and equitable international cooperation. No one can expect to resolve its own problems outside multilateral formats any longer."
Unfortunately, they do exhibit just that expectation. Yet, the most insidious, factual accusation made against the West in Russia's defense is this:
" They just don't provide the facts, which is what decent people always do in order to justify their discussions ." [My Emphasis]
Thus my very heavy critique of Cynthia Chung who invented facts to fit her ideological hypothesis.
Lavrov closes his peroration by directly addressing those foreign reporters in the audience:
"We are interested in addressing problems through a dialogue. However, 'forcing a closed door' that the West keeps 'under lock and key' is beneath our dignity . Your governments are well aware of our proposals that we have made repeatedly, starting with the dialogue on strategic offensive arms, arms control and nonproliferation to interaction on cybersecurity and non-deployment of weapons in space. There are many such areas. For each of them, Russia has proposals for establishing honest cooperation on key threats that are common to all countries around the world instead of using these threats to achieve unilateral geopolitical advantages by means of unscrupulous competition. President Putin's initiative to hold a summit of the five UN Security Council permanent members is a manifestation of such a desire to start a dialogue. All other leaders of the Group of Five responded positively to this proposal." [My Emphasis]
Lavrov closes by reminding his audience that Russia is hardly alone or isolated, that it's in combination with over 1/3 of the planet's people; and that instead of an unhealthy competition, Russia has openly asked all Eurasian nations to join together with its partners who "share our common philosophy: to say no to confrontation and to address existing problems on a balance of interests ." [My Emphasis]
In his presser, Lavrov referred to Russia's Main Foreign Policy Results in 2020 , the document available at the link. There's so much to read! Lavrov's response to the question about Latvia's recent behavior IMO best encapsulates the depth of Western immorality and blatant double-standards for its behavior. When it comes to the Outlaw U Empire:
"The most important thing is that our proposals on cybersecurity and on investigations into our alleged interference in US affairs, as well as on space projects and arms control, are on the table. As recently as in September 2020, President Putin publicly invited the United States – not President Trump or anyone else, but the United States as a power which, we hope, has retained at least a degree of respect for continuity and compliance with foreign policy agreements – to reboot our relations in the sphere of cybersecurity and non-intervention into internal affairs of each other."
Russia simply would like to hear an answer, even no is better than being ignored. There's so much more, particularly on the Freedom of Speech topic where Lavrov again remined people of their nations's responsibilities under the treaties they've signed and ratified. Lavrov made the effort to highlight this:
"I have already mentioned the topic of states' obligations and now want to remind you about them. The US is a member of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Interestingly (however, this issue is often omitted) there have been two international treaties, one for civil and political rights, and the other the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Having signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (it was in the 1960s), the US flatly refused to sign the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child [just as it refused to ratify the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was the product of Eleanor Roosevelt's doggedly determined efforts].
" This is a refusal to take any responsibilities related to providing adequate quality of life to its population and solving social and economic problems ." [my Emphasis]
My point is the same as Lavrov's: The Outlaw US Empire has on several occasions not to sign and ratify a treaty that it's Constitution says it ought to in order to form a more perfect union and to advance the general Welfare, which is quite telling when we discuss the reasons for the rise in Populism and the reasons someone like Trump is elevated well beyond his standing and abilities.
And since no English language media source published anything about Lavrov's very important presser, how should we rate its Information Hygiene while Pompeo's illegal antics get reported no matter their outrageousness? Gross failure is my verdict.
As Paco said, reporting on Lavrov's presser would be rather long, and he was quite correct! I left quite a lot on the cutting room floor.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.rt.com
banallwars 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 04:32 PMWhat a lie. The bombs being dropped from the U.S. made jets the Saudi pilots fly over Yemen killing civilians leaves blood all over his hands not to mention shaking the hand of the Saudi that murdered a journalist before selling him weapons to kill Yemen's civilians.Waryaa Moxamad 48 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 05:36 PM1) False flag chemical attack on Syria. 2) killing Soleimani in a sovereign country he was invited to 3) Guaido 4) Bolivia. 5) continuing the wars predecessors started.Debra***** Waryaa Moxamad 40 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 05:46 PM
Who is being fooled that U.S. presidency has any say in America's imperialism?Who really pushed for General Soleimani to be killed and has the most personal and intense vendetta against Soleimani? Mike Pompeo. Trump did not give the Pentagon and CIA all the wars they wanted, especially in Syria. Now the Pentagon and the CIA have their puppet, Corrupt Biden, who will do what they command him to do. I would expect in one year to see another massive war. Where? Syria. The US mothers will cry when their sons come home in coffins. The Hez in Lebanon will not back down, and they will enter Syria again. Trump did not want young American boys coming back in coffins!!!!!!!
Jan 19, 2021 | www.nybooks.com
Orthodoxy of the Elites - by Jackson Lears - The New York Review of Books
By 2016 the concept of "liberal democracy," once bright with promise, had dulled into a neoliberal politics that was neither liberal nor democratic. The Democratic Party's turn toward market-driven policies, the bipartisan dismantling of the public sphere, the inflight marriage of Wall Street and Silicon Valley in the cockpit of globalization -- these interventions constituted the long con of neoliberal governance, which enriched a small minority of Americans while ravaging most of the rest.
Jackson Lears is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers, Editor in Chief of Raritan, and the author of Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877–1920, among other books. (January 2021)
Jan 19, 2021 | consortiumnews.com
January 11, 2021 Save
If there must be a CIA, I feel better with Bill Burns being in charge of it.
William Burns in 2014 as U.S. deputy secretary of state. (State Department)
By John Kiriakou
Special to Consortium News
P resident-elect Joe Biden has finally named a new CIA director, one of the final senior-level appointees for his new administration. Much to the surprise of many of us who follow these things, he named senior diplomat Williams Burns to the position. Burns is one of the most highly-respected senior U.S. diplomats of the past three decades. He has ably served presidents of both parties and is known as both a reformer and as a supporter of human rights.
Burns is currently the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an important Washington-based international affairs think tank. He served as deputy secretary of state under President Barack Obama and was ambassador to Russia under President George W. Bush and ambassador to Jordan under President Bill Clinton. He was instrumental in the negotiations that led to the Iran Nuclear Deal and spent much of his career focused on the Middle East Peace Process. Burns joined the Foreign Service in 1982.
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When he made the announcement of Burns' appointment, Biden said,
"Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the word stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure. He shares my profound belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving our nation deserve our gratitude and respect. The American people will sleep soundly with him as our next CIA Director."
The message from Biden is clear: The CIA will not be led by a political hack like Mike Pompeo, a CIA insider like John Brennan, or someone associated with the CIA's crimes of torture, secret prisons, or international renditions like Gina Haspel. Instead, the organization will be led by someone with experience engaging across a negotiating table with America's enemies, someone experienced in solving problems, rather than creating new ones, someone who has dedicated much of his career to promoting peace, rather than to creating war.
Rank & File Response
The question, though, is what will be the response from the CIA's rank-and-file to Burns' appointment? I can tell you from my 15 years of experience at the CIA that there will be two reactions. At the working level, analysts, operators, and others will continue their same level of work no matter who the director is. Most working level officers don't even care who the director is. It doesn't matter to them. They never encounter the director and policies made at that top level generally don't impact them on a day-to-day basis.
At the senior levels, the leadership levels, CIA officers will be of two minds. Some will welcome Burns and his professionalism. They'll welcome a director who doesn't attract adverse press because of a past history of committing war crimes or crimes against humanity. (Even if they supported those crimes when they were being committed, press attention is always unwelcome.) They'll welcome a director who didn't head secret prisons overseas. They'll welcome a director who wasn't in charge of Guantanamo. They'll welcome a director who wasn't in charge of maintaining a secret "kill list."
Others will resent Burns, though, as they resented an earlier outsider, Admiral Stansfield Turner. Turner had been appointed by President Jimmy Carter to "clean up" the CIA. Turner then fired fully a third of the CIA's operations officers, some just months away from qualifying for retirement. He was universally reviled after that, and he never regained the trust of agency personnel.
That's not Burns' style. He's not a military officer who demands fealty. He's a diplomat, a negotiator. The CIA has to be cleaned up. Its policies have to be reformed. If there must be a CIA, I feel better with Bill Burns being in charge of it. At the very least, we should give him enough time to at least get started.
John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act -- a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration's torture program.
bobLich , January 12, 2021 at 09:29
Some paragraphs found in this article.
As a top-level State Department official through the administrations of Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama, Burns is implicated in virtually every crime of US imperialism over the past three decades, including the war in Iraq, the US-NATO attack on Libya, the military coup that drowned the Egyptian Revolution in blood, and the US intervention in Syria.
After such a career, as the saying goes, Burns knows where all the bodies are buried. Now he is assigned to head an agency that is probably responsible for more killing, torture and mass suffering than any other on the planet: the CIA.
A preview of what to expect from a Burns-led CIA was given during an interview with National Public Radio's Mary Louise Kelly on "US Global Leadership" held June 19, 2019 at the Truman Center for National Policy in Washington, DC. In the extended conversation, Burns defended the US and NATO-led coup in Libya which ended with the grisly murder of Muammar Gaddafi, followed by an ongoing civil war, the torture and killing of refugees and the return of slave-markets.
"It was right to act in Libya in the way that we did," Burns said. While the US government might have "got some assumptions wrong," he expressed no regrets, saying that he still thought Obama's "decision to act was unavoidable."
Anne , January 12, 2021 at 14:15
I would agree with your estimation some one, anyone who can think, believe, say etc that what we did in Iraq, Libya (I don't doubt Serbia), Syria is "rightful" has a heinously distorted mind (pretty much everyone in DC, in the MICIMATT) And Biden has revealed himself – again – as a subject of the corporate-capitalist-imperialist plutocratic ruling elites (and one with his hand forever stuck out)
Mikhail , January 12, 2021 at 22:31
Scott Ritter and Melvin Goodman seem to agree with John:
Jan 19, 2021 | www.rt.com
was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator. Follow him on Twitter @georgegalloway19 Jan, 2021 18:23 It's hard not to wonder if Joe Biden will even last his first 100 days in office... but those arguing his mind isn't sound enough shouldn't expect a swift exit, because since when was that a disqualifier?
... ... ...
The madness of Donald Trump had nothing on his Republican predecessor and fellow-impeachee Richard Nixon. So disturbing were the last days of Tricky Dicky, it came as a relief to America and the world when he resigned – even though it was famously said his successor Gerald Ford couldn't chew gum and walk in a straight line at the same time. Bovine he may have been, but a mad-cow he wasn't.
The Raging Bull Donald J Trump – grotesque, bizarre, unbelievable – had the misfortune to go quite mad in the age of cable news and social media. His narcissistic predilections always bordered on personality disorder. But his natural braggadocio stormed him to victory in 2016 in a backlash against the super-smooth professorial presidency of Barack Obama, with Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton riding shotgun.
Under Obama, the Clintonite deindustrialisation of America became almost complete . China was presented with America's lunch. And in no less than nine conflicts across the globe Obama was 'nation-building' in other people's countries while his own country was falling apart. But a dark storm was gathering
If only the Democrats had not started out by trying to steal Trump's election in a flurry of pussy-hats and fake Russiagate hoaxes. If only they hadn't striven might and main to railroad the Electoral College into betraying their mandate and – in the case of Nancy Pelosi – make a thinly disguised call for "uprisings throughout the country." If only they hadn't spent countless millions and two whole years of a four year-term with the Mueller Inquiry and the cockamaney theorem that the man who confronted Russia from Ukraine and the Baltics through the wrecked INF and Open Skies treaties to the killing fields of the Levant was, in fact, an agent of Vladimir Putin. If only, if onlyALSO ON RT.COM President Biden now you've got rid of that ghastly Mr Trump, it's time the US and UK rekindled our 'special relationship'
As it happened, the descent into madness of Trump was complete by the end. The coronavirus he derided at first, before predicting it would disappear in the warm weather of spring, before pondering whether bleach up the bahookie might not be an option as a cure. The Tammany Hall skullduggery of election day, practiced over a century in places like New York, rolled out across the country. The political suicide of only half-making a revolution on January 6 dug his own grave. Nobody ever beat a candidate who polled over 75 million votes before. But Sleepy Joe Biden did.
And he did it hardly ever leaving his basement home studio, where he painfully struggled to read an autocue even with an earpiece shrieking the words to him. When he did speak, it was often gibberish that would have made Ronald Reagan blush. He oftentimes plainly didn't know where he was, what office he was running for, which woman was his sister and which was his wife.
When Boris Yeltsin was rattling down, the world endlessly amused itself at the sight of Russia on its back, legs akimbo with thieves picking its pocket. With Joe Biden, though, the political class and its media echo-chamber merely look the other way.
Despite Democratic Party control of all levels of Federal power, it seems unlikely we are about to witness an FDR or a JFK barnstorming 100 days. It seems fair to wonder if Sleepy Joe will even see out a hundred days in office. It is, however, certain that if he is in office he will not be in power. Because power has already passed to the cavernous uncertainty of Vice President Kamala Harris.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Mark Conley 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:44 PMThanks for reminding the world that the president of the USA including his puppet elected office bearers has absolutely no power whatsoever. Well said. Thus you have answered your own observation at the end. The future is indeed dark and uncertain with the only certainty that nothing good can be expected from any USA government. Thus the onus is on the peaceful majority to do what is necessary.Atilla863 42 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:15 PMOne thing is certain in the new leadership - the debt will go on growing, perhaps reaching 40+ T dollars before the next elections. While this trend continues - the Chinese will be laughing all the way running to their banks as their economy records fortune after fortune proportional only inversely to the rate at which America recedes into superpower sunset.JJ_Rousseau 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:18 PMI'm surprised at George Galloway's comments, as he is a former MP in British politics. Kamala in charge? Don't make me laugh. The cabal is in charge, as they have been since Woodrow Wilson. Before actually, as Garfield was assassinated for shedding light on the banker machinations. Garfield knew that control of the nation's money was control of the nation. The coup of America is complete. The POTUS is only the spokesman for the cabal, nothing else5th Eye 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:08 PMAn election stolen is a stolen election.KarlthePoet 5th Eye 13 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:43 PMBiden will be much easier to control and manipulate by the Jewish Banking Cartel, which ultimately controls the US government and Wall Street. Trump was too unpredictable and would have made it difficult for them to achieve their historical hope. "The Jews energetically reject the idea of fusion with other nationalities and cling firmly to their historical hope of World Empire." - Dr. Max Mandelstamm ***We should always listen to the doctors.Skeptic076 5th Eye 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:13 PMNot stolen.....50 states certified, 60 plus courts found nothing fraudulent, and the electoral votes were confirmed by the House and Senate, with the Senate led by Pence. So, as the world knows and anyone who knows election laws, the election was one of the most legitimate ever held in the US.KarlthePoet 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:10 PMThe Jewish Banking Cartel is ultimately in control of the US government and Wall Street. They've been in control for decades. Now they've obviously teamed up with the Jewish Big Tech companies like Facebook and Google in order to gain even more control. Controlling the money, money system, and the minds of the masses has been their goal. Two Jewish controlled companies control over $9Trillion of American's wealth. (BlackRock Inc. & Goldman Sachs) They've finally achieved their goal. The cartel is now in control of a country that is completely out of control. Karma!Daffyduck011 KarlthePoet 38 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:18 PMAshkenasty banking cartel.JJ_Rousseau KarlthePoet 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:29 PMIt's not only the banking cabal, it's the media (which the same gang own, of course). This cannot happen without a complicit media. This is a very old strategyBlackace180 7 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:49 PMHe'll be impeached multiple times, along with his family. Removed and jailed. People need a reminder of just how messed up Obama/Biden was and it is coming. The caravans are already on the way and gas has jumped 55 cents a gallon since the election, for no reason other than it is Biden. People will run the nutcracker right out of office, hopefully before the country collapses from his nutcracker policies.White Elk 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:45 PMThe press-elected.Xilla White Elk 33 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:23 PMHow did the press elect him?Franc 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:28 PMXilla/Herrbifi, you're not welcome here. We all know what your goals are, and we all know you're just here to make a pointless mess.5th Eye 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:18 PMAn Italian bureaucrat once said, "Everything is changed, so that it remains the same." It will be exactly like that under Biden to legitimate his regime.The_Chosenites 51 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:06 PMSince both Trump and Biden are proud zionists, the only thing I am certain of is Israel and the Jewish community have won another election and we'll see many jewish politicians elevated to positions of power in the Biden administration. Biden best do what's best for Israel if he knows whats good for him and his health.KarlthePoet The_Chosenites 16 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:40 PMMaybe when Kamala becomes President she can get advice from her Jewish husband, who is a lawyer. What a coincidence.Enki14 9 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:48 PMThat Henry Kissinger, long time shadow government puppet endorsed demented biden is a clue as to what might happen as they know in 2 years the masses will reinstate conservatives and in 4 years another trumpster. We may see sweeping changes, with some huge blowback.The_Chosenites Enki14 4 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:53 PMKissinger has had a bed in the oval office for many a President, he must have been installed by the Chosennites to stay in office forever. Presidents come and go, but Kissinger remains to pull the strings. Goldman Sach's et al rule the roost.Daniel Fernald 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:42 PMBiden's 100 days are interesting. It's exactly 100 days from January 20 to May 1, which is the communist May Day.Skeptic076 Daniel Fernald 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:44 PMUsed to be the American May Day as well, you know? Interesting if you research why it is not anymore.Michael Knight 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:46 PMImpossible to believe he'll be in charge????? That's probably because he won't be!
RCBreakenridge Mike Freeman 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:28 PMMike, seriously? What echo chamber are you living in? How can you look at Biden and not understand that he's little more than a life-size cardboard cutout of the man that used to be Obama's puppet? He'll be in office as long as they can continue to stand him up for photo ops and he continues to do exactly what he is told. As soon as either of those conditions falter, Nancy and friends will roll out the 25th amendment, show him the door and lead KH to the presidents chair. But make no mistake, the only choices Sleepy Joe will be making are to do as he is told.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Passer by , Jan 19 2021 21:57 utc | 36
Posted by: teri | Jan 19 2021 21:31 utc | 33
>>Today, the Trump administration filed an appeal against the UK decision not to extradite Assange. I must imagine that means that Trump has no intention of pardoning Assange.
Trump was a desperate "Murica must have the biggest dick" imperialist massively triggered by the US decline and trying to save the US Empire. Like a rabid dog that is wounded, he attacked anything that moves, including those who helped him get into power.
Anyone who thought that he will help the likes of Russia or Assange does not understand the psychology of elite US WASPs.
These people thought that they and the US should rule the world and that they are the cream of the cream. Anything denying them that would lead to crazed reactions, hysteria, rabid animalistic behavior, and snarling and gnashing of teeth at anything that moves.
Simply put, their decline caused them to go rabid. A rabid dog attacks anything that moves, whether friendly or not. Unfortunately for the likes of Russia and Assange.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.strategic-culture.org
President Biden's Corruption Already Pervades His Administration Eric Zuesse December 8, 2020 © Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
That didn't take long. He's not even in office, and he has already surrounded himself, as the incoming President, with individuals who derive their wealth from (and will be serving) America's top defense contractors and Wall Street. The likelihood that these Government officials will be biting the hands that feed them is approximately zero. Great investigative journalists have already exposed how corrupt they are. For that to be the case so early (even before taking office) is remarkable, and only a summary of those reports will be provided here, with links to them, all of which reports are themselves linking to the incriminating evidence, so that everything can easily be tracked back to the documentation by the reader here, even before there are any 'Special Prosecutors' (as if those were serving anyone other than the opposite Party's political campaigns, and, ultimately, the opposite Party's billionaires).
First up, is the independent investigative team of David Sirota and Andrew Perez. On December 4th, they bannered "The Beltway Left Is Normalizing Corruption And Corporatism" , and reported that "A month after the election, Biden's nominations make clear that the president-elect is most focused on trying to fulfill his promise to donors that nothing fundamentally changes. And yet, that tacit admission may have stunned those who keep hearing from liberal and progressive groups in Washington that, in fact, the left has been notching monumental victories in Biden's cabinet appointments ."
Liberal (that's to say Democratic Party) U.S. media hide the corruptness of Democratic politicians, and conservative (that's to say Republican Party) U.S. media hide the corruptness of Republican politicians; and, so, the public today are getting corrupt leaders whichever side they vote for. No mainstream 'news' media report what independent investigative journalists such as Sirota and Perez report. Authentically good journalists use as sources -- and link to in their articles -- neither Democratic nor Republican allegations, but instead are on the margins, outside of the major media, and so rely on whistleblowers and other trustworthy outsiders, not on people who are somebody's paid PR flacks, individuals who are being paid to deceive. As Sirota and Perez state: " What little organized left political infrastructure exists in Washington is largely valorizing or publicly defending swamp creatures who at minimum deserve a loyal opposition. The good work being done by a small handful of under-resourced groups to mount a real opposition is getting trampled by a culture of obsequiousness. This culture of acquiescence gives swamp creatures a free pass ." It's all some sort of mega-corporate propaganda -- 100% billionaire-supported on the conservative side, 100% billionaire-supported also on the liberal side, and 0% billionaire-supported for anything that is authentically progressive (not dependent, at all, upon the aristocracy).
That independent reporting team focused on Biden's having chosen an economic team which will start his Administration already offering to congressional Republicans an initial Democratic Party negotiating position that accepts Republicans' basic proposals to cut middle class Social Security and health care benefits in order for the Government to be able to continue expanding the military budgets and purchases from the billionaire-controlled firms, such as Northrop Grumman -- firms whose entire sales (or close to it) are to the U.S. Government and to the governments (U.S. 'allies') that constitute these firms' secondary markets. (In other words: those budget-cuts aren't going to be an issue between the two Parties and used by Biden's team as a bargaining chip to moderate the Republicans' position that favors more for 'defense' and less for the poor, but are actually accepted by both Parties, even before the new Administration will take office.) Obviously, anything that both sides to a negotiation accept at the very start of a negotiation will be included in the final product from that negotiation; and this means that during a Biden Presidency there will be reductions in middle-class Social security and health care benefits in order to continue, at the present level -- if not to increase yet further -- Government spending on the products and services of such firms as Lockheed Martin and the Rand Corporation (firms that control their market by controlling their Government, which is their main or entire market).
Sirota and Perez focus especially upon one example: Neera Tanden, whom Biden chose on November 30th to be the White House Budget Director, and who therefore will set the priorities which determine how much federal money the President will be trying to get the Congress to allocate to what recipients:
Despite Tanden's push for Social Security cuts , Beltway liberal groups whose mission is to defend Social Security lauded her think tank . Despite Tanden having her organization rake in cash from Wall Street, Amazon, billionaires and ( previously ) foreign governments, a Ralph Nader-founded, all-purpose consumer advocacy group praised CAP as "one of our key partners in the fight to tax corporations and the rich, rein in monopoly power, tackle government corruption, and much more." Despite Tanden busting a union at CAP, two national union leaders in Washington lauded her.
Next up: One of the rare honest non-profits in the field of journalism is the Project on Government Oversight, POGO, which refuses to accept donations from "anyone who stands to benefit financially from our work," and which states in its unique "Donation Acceptance Policy" that, "POGO reviews all contributions exceeding $100 in order to maintain this standard." In other words: they refuse to be corrupt. Virtually all public-policy or think-tank nonprofits are profoundly corrupt, but POGO is the most determined exception to that general rule.
On 20 November 2020, POGO headlined "Should Michèle Flournoy Be Secretary of Defense?" and their terrific investigative team of Winslow Wheeler and Pierre Sprey delivered a scorching portrayal of Flournoy as irredeemably corrupt -- it ought to be read by everybody. It's essential reading throughout, and its links to the evidence are to the very best sources. So, I won't summarize it, because all Americans need to know what it reports, and to be able to verify, on their own (by clicking onto any link in it that interests them), any allegation that the given reader has any question about. However, I shall point out here the sheer hypocrisy of the following which that article quotes Flournoy as asserting: "It will be imperative for the next secretary to appoint a team of senior officials who meet the following criteria: deep expertise and competence in their areas of responsibility; proven leadership in empowering teams, listening to diverse views, making tough decisions, and delivering results." (Of course, that assertion presumes the given 'expert' to be not only authentically expert but also honest and trustworthy, authentically representing the public's interest and no special interests whatsoever -- not at all corrupt -- which is certainly a false allegation in her own case.) She had urged the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and had participated in planning and overseeing both the war against Syria, and the coup that destroyed Ukraine (and none of those countries had ever invaded, or even threatened to invade, the United States); and, so, for her to brag about her "delivering results" is not merely hypocritical, it is downright evil, because she is obviously proud, there, of her vicious, outright voracious, record.
Her business-partner, Tony Blinken, has already received Biden's approval to become his Secretary of State, and the first really good investigative journalist that American Prospect magazine has had, Jonathan Guyer, headlined on November 23rd, "What You Need to Know About Tony Blinken" , and what Guyer reports is just what any well informed reader would expect to see for a business partner of Flournoy's.
Guyer's report closes by making passing reference to a CBS 'news' puff-piece for Blinken. In that CBS puff-piece , Blinken says, "a President Biden would be in the business of confronting Mr. Putin for his aggressions, not embracing him. Not trashing NATO, but strengthening its deterrence, investing in new capabilities to deal with challenges in cyberspace, in outer space, under the sea, A.I., electronic warfare, and give robust security assistance to countries like Ukraine, Georgia, the Western Balkans ." What would Americans think if Russia were to have retained its Warsaw Pact, and "a President Putin would be in the business of confronting Mr. Biden for his aggressions (in Syria, or elsewhere), not embracing them. Not trashing the Warsaw Pact, but strengthening its deterrence, investing in new capabilities to deal with challenges in cyberspace, in outer space, under the sea, A.I., electronic warfare, and give robust security assistance to countries like Canada, Mexico, and other nations that are near the U.S. "? Guyer pointedly noted that "The [CBS News] podcast was sponsored by a major weapons maker. 'At Lockheed Martin, your mission is ours,' read an announcer." Tony Blinken's mission is theirs. These people get the money both coming and going -- on both sides of the "revolving door." Today's American Government is for sale to the highest bidders, on any policy, domestic or foreign. 'Government service' is just a sabbatical to boost their value to the firms that will be paying them the vast majority of their lifetime 'earnings'. This is the reality that mainstream U.S.-and-allied 'news' media refuse to publish (or, especially , to make clear). Only an electorate which is ignorant of this reality can accept such a government.
Back on 26 January 2020, I had headlined "Joe Biden Is as Corrupt as They Come" and documented the reality of this, but America's mainstream media were hiding that fact so as to decrease the likelihood that the only Democratic Party Presidential candidate whom no billionaire supported , Bernie Sanders, might win the nomination. Perhaps now that it's too late, even those 'news' organizations (such as CNN, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, New York Times , Washington Post , PBS, and NPR) will start reporting the fact of Biden's corruptness. Where billionaires control all of the mainstream media, there is no democracy -- it's not even possible , in such a country
As far back as 25 October 2019, I had headlined "Biden Backer -- Former Lockheed Leader -- Convinces Joe Biden to Sell-Out" , and reported that
Bernard Schwartz, a former Vice Chairman and top investor in Lockheed Martin (which is by far the largest seller to the U.S. Government, and also the largest seller to most of America's allied Governments), is one of Joe Biden's top donors. CNN headlined, on October 24th, "Biden allies intensify push for super PAC after lackluster fundraising quarter" , and reported that, "Bernard Schwartz, a private investor and donor to the former vice president's campaign, said he spoke with Biden within the last two weeks and encouraged him to do just that." It's not for nothing that throughout Biden's long Senate career, he has voted in favor of every U.S. invasion that has been placed before the U.S. Senate.
Near the end of the Democratic Party's primaries, on 16 March 2020, CNBC headlined "Megadonors pull plug on plan for anti-Sanders super PAC as Biden racks up wins" , and reported that Bernard Schwartz had become persuaded by other billionaires that, by this time, "Biden could handle Sanders on his own." They had done their job; they would therefore control the U.S. Government regardless of which Party's nominee would head it.
Biden -- like Trump, and like Obama and Bush and Clinton before him -- doesn't represent the American people. He represents his mega-donors. And he is staffing his Administration accordingly. He repays favors: he delivers the services that they buy from him. This is today's America. And that is the way it functions.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.rt.com
46 Follow RT on Outgoing US President Donald Trump has delivered his "parting gift" to the Moscow-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, with newly announced sanctions targeting a pipe-laying vessel and companies involved in the multinational project.
The specialist ship concerned, named, 'Fortuna,' and oil tanker 'Maksim Gorky', as well as two Russian firms, KVT-Rus and Rustanker, were blacklisted on Tuesday under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) as part of Washington's economic war on Moscow. The same legislation had been previously used by the US to target numerous Russian officials and enterprises.
Russian energy giant Gazprom warned its investors earlier on Tuesday that Nord Stream 2 could be suspended or even canceled if more US restrictions are introduced.ALSO ON RT.COM Gazprom warns investors that Nord Stream 2 could be canceled as Trump announces more US sanctions in 'parting gift'
However, Moscow has assured its partners that it intends to complete the project despite "harsh pressure on the part of Washington," according to Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov. Reacting to the new package of sanctions on Tuesday, Peskov called them "unlawful."
Meanwhile, the EU said it is in no rush to join the Washington-led sanction war on Nord Stream 2. EU foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, said that the bloc is not going to resist the construction of the project.
"Because we're talking about a private project, we can't hamper the operations of those companies if the German government agrees to it," Borrell said Tuesday.
Nord Stream 2 is an offshore gas pipeline, linking Russia and Germany with aim of providing cheaper energy to Central European customers. Under the agreement between Moscow and Berlin, it was to be launched in mid-2020, but the construction has been delayed due to strong opposition from Washington.ALSO ON RT.COM One more European firm caves to US pressure on Nord Stream 2 project – media
The US, which is hoping to sell its Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to Europe, has hit the project with several rounds of sanctions over scarcely credible claims that it could undermine European energy security. Critics say the real intent is to force EU members to buy from American companies.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!46 Follow RT on Trends:
Fatback33 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:20 AMThe group that owns Washington makes the foreign policy. That policy is not for the benefit of the people.DukeLeo Fatback33 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:06 PMThat is correct. The private banks and corporations in the US are very upset about Nord Stream - 2, as they want Europe to buy US gas at double price. Washington thus introduces additional political gangsterism in the shape of new unilateral sanctions which have no merit in international law.noremedy 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:22 AMIs the U.S. so stupid that they do not realize that they are isolating themselves? Russia has developed SPFS, China CIPS, together with Iran, China and Russia are further developing a payment transfer system. Once in place and functioning this system will replace the western SWIFT system for international payment transfers. It will be the death knell for the US dollar. 327 million Americans are no match for the rest of the billions of the world's population. The next decade will see the total debasement of the US monetary system and the fall from power of the decaying and crumbling in every way U.S.A.Hanonymouse noremedy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:37 PMThey don't care. They have the most advanced military in the world. Might makes right, even today.Shelbouy 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:25 PMRussia currently supplies over 50% of the natural gas consumed by The EU. Germany and Italy are the largest importers of Russian natural gas. What is the issue of sanctions stemming from and why are the Americans doing this? A no brainer question I suppose. It's to make more money than the other supplier, and exert political pressure and demand obedience from its lackey. Germany.David R. Evans Shelbouy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:58 PMRussia and Iran challenge perpetual US wars for Israel's Oded Yinon Plan. Washington is Israel-controlled territory.Jewel Gyn 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:34 AMSanctions work both ways. With the outgoing Trump administration desperately laying mines for Biden, we await how sleepy Joe is going to mend strayed ties with EU.Count_Cash 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:20 AMThe US mafia state continues with the same practices. The dog is barking but the caravan is going. The counter productiveness of sanctions always shows through in the end! I am sure with active efforts of Germany and Russia against US mafia oppression that a blowback will be felt by the US over time!Dachaguy 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:24 AMThis is an act of war against Germany. NATO should respond and act against the aggressor, America.xyz47 Dachaguy 42 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:20 PMNATO is run by the US...lovethy Dachaguy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:04 PMNATO has no separate existence. It's the USA's arm of aggression, suppression and domination. Germany after WWII is an occupied country of USA. Thousand of armed personnel stationed in Germany enforcing that occupation.Chaz Dadkhah 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:19 PMFurther proof that Trump is no friend of Russia and is in a rush to punish them while he still has power. If it was the swamp telling him to do that, like his supporters suggest, then they would have waited till their man Biden came in to power in less than 24 hours to do it. Wake up!Mac Kio 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:34 PMUSA hates fair competition. USA ignores all WTO rules.Russkiy09 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:33 PMBy whining and not completing in the face of US, Russia is losing credibility. They should not have delayed to mobilize the pipe laying vessel and other equipment for one whole year. They should have mobilized in three months and finished by now. Same happens when Jewtin does not shoot down Zio air force bombing Syria everyday. But best option should have been to tell European vassals that "if you can, take our gas. But we will charge the highest amount and sell as much as we want, exclude Russophobic Baltic countries and Poland and neo-vassal Ukraine. Pay us not in your ponzi paper money but real goods and services or precious metals or other commodities or our own currency Ruble." I so wish I could be the President of Russia. Russians deserve to be as wealthy as the Swiss or SIngapore etc., not what they are getting. Their leaders should stand up for their interest. And stop empowering the greedy merchantalist Chinese and brotherhood Erdogan.BlackIntel 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:27 PMAmerica i captured by private interest; this project threatens American private companies hence the government is forced to protect capitalism. This is illegalOhhho 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:15 PMThat project was a mistake from the start: Russia should distance itself from the Evil empire, EU included! Stop wasting time and resources on trying to please the haters and keeping them more competitive with cheaper Russian natural gas: focus on real partners and potential allies elsewhere!butterfly123 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:58 PMI have said it before that part of the problem is at the door of the policy-makers and politicians in Russia. Pipeline project didn't spring up in the minds of politicians in Russia one morning, presumably. There should have been foresight, detailed planning, and opportunity creation for firms in Russia to acquire the skill-set and resources to advance this project. Not doing so has come to bite Russia hard and painful. Lessons learnt I hope Mr President!jakro 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:37 AMGood news. The swamp is getting deeper and bigger.hermaflorissen 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:49 AMTrump finally severed my expectations for the past 4 years. He should indeed perish.ariadnatheo 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:06 PMThat is one Trump measure that will not be overturned by the Senile One. They will need to amplify the RussiaRussiaRussia barking and scratching to divert attention from their dealings with ChinaNeville52 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:01 PMIts time the other nations of the world turned their backs on the US. Its too risky if you are an international corporation to suddenly have large portions of your income cancelled due to some crazy politician in the US5th Eye 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:03 PMFrom empire to the collapse of empire, US follows UK to the letters. Soon it will be irrelevant. The only thing that remains for UK is the language. Probably hotdog for the US.VonnDuff1 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:10 PMThe USA Congress and its corrupt foreign policy dictates work to the detriment of Europe and Russia, while providing no tangible benefits to US states or citizens. So globalist demands wrapped in the stars & stripes, should be laughed at, by all freedom loving nations.
Jan 17, 2021 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Andrei Martyanov , 17 January 2021 at 05:07 PM
We have been Morgenthau'ed and not just industrially.
Posted by: Horace | 17 January 2021 at 01:47 PM
Knowing an extremely low quality (and it continues to deteriorate steadily) of the American historiography of WW II, if I would be you--I would be very cautious with what I read. The whole title of the book you proposed is already a typical sensationalist revisionist fantasy, which shows clearly that the author is in historical falsification business, most likely whitewashing Nazis. There is plenty of "scholar" literature like that to go around in the Anglo-sphere and it is not a real history, but propaganda. Not to mention the fact that Morgenthau Plan was never really implemented, to start with. Most of what was written about USSR in the US after the WW II, with some rare, however important, exceptions, is garbage along the lines of Ziemke's war fantasies.
Jan 17, 2021 | www.rt.com
'America is back': Biden fills State Department slots with more Obama vets, including Ukraine 'coup plotter' Victoria Nuland 16 Jan, 2021 22:18 Get short URL Victoria Nuland is shown greeting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2015. © Reuters / Mikhail Palinchak 9 Follow RT on President-elect Joe Biden is getting the old interventionist-foreign-policy team back together, including Ukraine coup engineer Victoria Nuland, signaling a hardline Russia stance as he fills out top posts in the State Department.
"These leaders are trusted at home and respected around the world, and their nominations signal that America is back and ready to lead the world, not retreat from it," Biden said on Saturday in a statement announcing his picks to fill top positions under his nominee for secretary of state, Anthony Blinken.ALSO ON RT.COM Biden signals US return to full-on globalism and foreign meddling by picking interventionist Anthony Blinken as secretary of state
Like Blinken, the five latest State Department picks are veterans of the Obama-Biden administration. Nuland , a neoconservative who was named undersecretary for political affairs, goes all the way back to former President Ronald Reagan's administration and was a foreign policy adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Other new re-hires include: Wendy Sherman, deputy secretary of state, who led the Obama-Biden administration's negotiating team on peace talks with Iran; Brian McKeon, deputy secretary for management and resources, who was a national security adviser to then-Vice President Biden; Bonnie Jenkins, undersecretary for arms control and international security, who previously coordinated nonproliferation programs; and Uzra Zeha, undersecretary for civilian security, who formerly was charge d'affaires at the US Embassy in Paris.READ MORE US foreign aid agencies paid for Kiev street violence - ex-US agent Scott Rickard
After four years of President Donald Trump's 'America First' policy, including efforts to wind down foreign interventions and broker peace deals, Biden's declaration of "America is back" portends a sharp contrast in foreign policy. He said his latest nominees will "use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America's global and moral leadership."
Nuland, who studied Russian literature at Brown University, wrote last summer in Foreign Affairs of how "a confident America should deal with Russia " with a more "activist" policy, including "speaking directly to the Russian people about the benefits of working together and the price they have paid for (President Vladimir) Putin's hard turn away from liberalism." She added, "Washington and its allies have forgotten the statecraft that won the Cold War and continued to yield results for many years after."
Nuland perhaps was using such "statecraft" when, as assistant secretary of state in December 2013, she handed out cookies to protesters at Kiev's Maidan Nezalezhnosti square who were demanding the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovich. An audiotape leaked in February 2014 showed that her involvement in the uprising went well beyond cookies, as she spoke with US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt about plotting to replace Yanukovich with Washington's chosen opposition leader, Arseny Yatseniuk, and about involving the UN to "f**k the EU" by pushing through a US-preferred Ukraine policy.ALSO ON RT.COM Nuland's biscuits again: Maidan midwife's plan for US policy on Russia is dumb, delusional and dangerous
Ironically, Nuland's appointment comes just as politicians in Washington fret over this month's storming of the US Capitol by pro-Trump protesters, which some called a coup attempt.
"I knew it wasn't a real coup because Victoria Nuland wasn't handing out cookies," Cato Institute senior fellow Doug Bandow said of the Capitol assault. "She'll be back overthrowing governments in the Biden administration, so it remains a valid standard."
In light of Nuland's hawkish history, 25 anti-war groups have jointly called for the Senate to reject confirmation of her nomination as undersecretary for political affairs.
"Victoria Nuland is returning to the State Department," one commenter wrote on Twitter. "The United States is returning to the former Soviet republics with great strides. A fierce struggle with Russia begins."
Jan 15, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Will the Senate Confirm Coup Plotter Victoria Nuland? Posted on January 15, 2021 by Yves Smith
Yves here. Biden's nominees have skewed towards the awful, particularly on the foreign policy front. But his plan to install Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland at State is a standout. For those of you new to this site and not familiar with Nuland's sorry history, this post gives an overview of her role in fomenting the coup in Ukraine and in putting relations with Russia on a Cold War footing. The authors encourage readers to call their Senators and urge them to vote against her nomination.
And before you get unduly excited by Biden nominating Gary Gensler to the SEC, I would much rather have seem Gensler at Treasury. Gensler demonstrated at the CFTC that he's effective and dedicated to combatting abuses by Big Finance. However, his best shot at making the SEC feared and respected again is to appoint a tough head of enforcement, so keep an eye out for that pick.
The problem that Gensler will have at the SEC is that it is the only Federal financial services industry regulator that is subject to Congressional appropriations, rather that living off its fees and fines (the SEC collects far more than Congress allows it). And Democrats, like Joe Lieberman, then the Senator from Hedgistan, have been if anything more aggressive than Republicans in threatening the SEC and in keeping it budget-starved.
I had said to Lambert that if Biden wanted to be Machiavellian, the way to pretend to reward Elizabeth Warren while actually sandbagging her would be to make her SEC chair. Let's hope that isn't his logic for appointing Gensler.
By Medea Benjamin. cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace , and author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran . @medeabenjamin; Nicolas J. S. Davies, an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq . @NicolasJSDavies; and Marcy Winograd of Progressive Democrats of America served as a 2020 Democratic delegate for Bernie Sanders,and is Coordinator of CODEPINK CONGRESS . @MarcyWinograd
Photo Credit: thetruthseeker.co.uk Nuland and Pyatt planning regime change in Kiev
Who is Victoria Nuland? Most Americans have never heard of her because the U.S. corporate media's foreign policy coverage is a wasteland. Most Americans have no idea that President-elect Biden's pick for Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs is stuck in the quicksand of 1950s U.S.-Russia Cold War politics and dreams of continued NATO expansion, an arms race on steroids and further encirclement of Russia.
Nor do they know that from 2003-2005, during the hostile U.S. military occupation of Iraq, Nuland was a foreign policy advisor to Dick Cheney, the Darth Vader of the Bush administration.
You can bet, however, that the people of Ukraine have heard of neocon Nuland. Many have even heard the leaked four-minute audio of her saying "Fuck the EU" during a 2014 phone call with the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.
During the infamous call on which Nuland and Pyatt plotted to replace the elected Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych, Nuland expressed her not-so-diplomatic disgust with the European Union for grooming former heavyweight boxer and austerity champ Vitali Klitschko instead of U.S. puppet and NATO booklicker Artseniy Yatseniuk to replace Russia-friendly Yanukovych.
The "Fuck the EU" call went viral, as an embarrassed State Department, never denying the call's authenticity, blamed the Russians for tapping the phone, much as the NSA has tapped the phones of European allies.
Despite outrage from German Chancellor Angela Markel, no one fired Nuland, but her potty mouth upstaged the more serious story: the U.S. plot to overthrow Ukraine's elected government and America's responsibility for a civil war that has killed at least 13,000 people and left Ukraine the poorest country in Europe.
In the process, Nuland, her husband Robert Kagan, the co-founder of The Project for a New American Century , and their neocon cronies succeeded in sending U.S.-Russian relations into a dangerous downward spiral from which they have yet to recover.
Nuland accomplished this from a relatively junior position as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. How much more trouble could she stir up as the #3 official at Biden's State Department? We'll find out soon enough, if the Senate confirms her nomination.
Joe Biden should have learned from Obama's mistakes that appointments like this matter. In his first term , Obama allowed his hawkish Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Republican Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and military and CIA leaders held over from the Bush administration to ensure that endless war trumped his message of hope and change.
Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, ended up presiding over indefinite detentions without charges or trials at Guantanamo Bay; an escalation of drone strikes that killed innocent civilians; a deepening of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan; a self-reinforcing cycle of terrorism and counterterrorism; and disastrous new wars in Libya and Syria .
With Clinton out and new personnel in top spots in his second term, Obama began to take charge of his own foreign policy. He started working directly with Russia's President Putin to resolve crises in Syria and other hotspots. Putin helped avert an escalation of the war in Syria in September 2013 by negotiating the removal and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles, and helped Obama negotiate an interim agreement with Iran that led to the JCPOA nuclear deal.
But the neocons were apoplectic that they failed to convince Obama to order a massive bombing campaign and escalate his covert, proxy war in Syria and at the receding prospect of a war with Iran. Fearing their control of U.S. foreign policy was slipping, the neocons launched a campaign to brand Obama as "weak" on foreign policy and remind him of their power.
With editorial help from Nuland, her husband Robert Kagan penned a 2014 New Republic article entitled "Superpowers Don't Get To Retire," proclaiming that "there is no democratic superpower waiting in the wings to save the world if this democratic superpower falters." Kagan called for an even more aggressive foreign policy to exorcise American fears of a multipolar world it can no longer dominate.
Obama invited Kagan to a private lunch at the White House, and the neocons' muscle-flexing pressured him to scale back his diplomacy with Russia, even as he quietly pushed ahead on Iran.
The neocons' coup de grace against Obama's better angels was Nuland's 2014 coup in debt-ridden Ukraine, a valuable imperial possession for its wealth of natural gas and a strategic candidate for NATO membership right on Russia's border.
When Ukraine's Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych spurned a U.S.-backed trade agreement with the European Union in favor of a $15 billion bailout from Russia, the State Department threw a tantrum.
Hell hath no fury like a superpower scorned.
The EU trade agreement was to open Ukraine's economy to imports from the EU, but without a reciprocal opening of EU markets to Ukraine, it was a lopsided deal Yanukovich could not accept. The deal was approved by the post-coup government, and has only added to Ukraine's economic woes.
The muscle for Nuland's $5 billion coup was Oleh Tyahnybok's neo-Nazi Svoboda Party and the shadowy new Right Sector militia. During her leaked phone call, Nuland referred to Tyahnybok as one of the "big three" opposition leaders on the outside who could help the U.S.-backed Prime Minister Yatsenyuk on the inside. This is the same Tyanhnybok who once delivered a speec h applauding Ukrainians for fighting Jews and "other scum" during World War II.
After protests in Kiev's Euromaidan square turned into battles with police in February 2014, Yanukovych and the Western-backed opposition signed an agreement brokered by France, Germany and Poland to form a national unity government and hold new elections by the end of the year.
But that was not good enough for the neo-Nazis and extreme right-wing forces the U.S. had helped to unleash. A violent mob led by the Right Sector militia marched on and invaded the parliament building , a scene no longer difficult for Americans to imagine. Yanukovych and his members of parliament fled for their lives.
Facing the loss of its most vital strategic naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea, Russia accepted the overwhelming result (a 97% majority, with an 83% turnout) of a referendum in which Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia, which it had been a part of from 1783 to 1954.
The majority Russian-speaking provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine unilaterally declared independence from Ukraine, triggering a bloody civil war between U.S.- and Russian-backed forces that still rages in 2021.
U.S.-Russian relations have never recovered, even as U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals still pose the greatest single threat to our existence. Whatever Americans believe about the civil war in Ukraine and allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, we must not allow the neocons and the military-industrial complex they serve to deter Biden from conducting vital diplomacy with Russia to steer us off our suicidal path toward nuclear war.
Nuland and the neocons, however, remain committed to an ever-more debilitating and dangerous Cold War with Russia and China to justify a militarist foreign policy and record Pentagon budgets. In a July 2020 Foreign Affairs article entitled "Pinning Down Putin," Nuland absurdly claimed that Russia presents a greater threat to "the liberal world" than the U.S.S.R. posed during the old Cold War.
Nuland's narrative rests on an utterly mythical, ahistorical narrative of Russian aggression and U.S. good intentions. She pretends that Russia's military budget, which is one-tenth of America's, is evidence of "Russian confrontation and militarization" and calls on the U.S. and its allies to counter Russia by "maintaining robust defense budgets, continuing to modernize U.S. and allied nuclear weapons systems, and deploying new conventional missiles and missile defenses to protect against Russia's new weapons systems "
Nuland also wants to confront Russia with an aggressive NATO. Since her days as U.S. Ambassador to NATO during President George W. Bush's second term, she has been a supporter of NATO's expansion all the way up to Russia's border. She calls for "permanent bases along NATO's eastern border." We have pored over a map of Europe, but we can't find a country called NATO with any borders at all. Nuland sees Russia's commitment to defending itself after successive 20th century Western invasions as an intolerable obstacle to NATO's expansionist ambitions.
Nuland's militaristic worldview represents exactly the folly the U.S. has been pursuing since the 1990s under the influence of the neocons and "liberal interventionists," which has resulted in a systematic underinvestment in the American people while escalating tensions with Russia, China, Iran and other countries.
As Obama learned too late, the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time can, with a shove in the wrong direction, unleash years of intractable violence, chaos and international discord. Victoria Nuland would be a ticking time-bomb in Biden's State Department, waiting to sabotage his better angels much as she undermined Obama's second-term diplomacy.
So let's do Biden and the world a favor. Join World Beyond War , CODEPINK and dozens of other organizations opposing neocon Nuland's confirmation as a threat to peace and diplomacy. Call 202-224-3121 and tell your Senator to oppose Nuland's installation at the State Department.
John A , January 15, 2021 at 7:44 am
Nuland has also been declared persona non grata by Russia, so she would not be able to go with Biden, were he to visit Moscow. Russian foreign minister Lavrov, actually refused to shake her hand when she attended a US-Russia meeting with Kerry. She is poison to any attempt to peaceful relationships.
Susan the other , January 15, 2021 at 11:28 am
Yes, I remember that meeting clearly. Can't cite the network, but it covered her closely – body language only. I wonder where Biden stood on that act of diplomacy given his own corruption, and also what John Kerry's thinking is about now. John Kerry's stepson was in cahoots with Hunter Biden. It looked like Kerry brought her along for some rehabilitation and Lavrov was having none of it. Instead he went directly to the delegation from Ukraine and they stood in a circle all with their backs turned to Vicky who had no choice but to wander over to the coffee table and pretend she wasn't totally uncomfortable. Totally excluded. How can she recover from that?
The Rev Kev , January 15, 2021 at 9:10 am
If there is one thing that Russia hates it is fascists and that is because of the enormous damage caused by them in WW2. We call those invaders Nazis but the Russians seem to call them fascists. I sometimes wonder if it is part of their mother's milk this hatred. For people like Nuland to help topple the government of a large, bordering country like the Ukraine and install people that were literally fascists was too much for the Russians. These were fascist of a very low order that had the old 1930s routines down pat, including the torchlight parades. And there was Nuland, handing out cookies to the rioters, many of whom had been trained in rioting tactics in Poland and were being paid about $100 a day by the US if I recall correctly. Of course Nuland was not alone as there was also a Representative from the EU also handing out cookies. The only equivalent that comes to mind is a violent revolution in Canada using professional rioters and having diplomatic representatives from the Russian Federation and China handing out donuts to the rioter. I wonder what Washington would say about a stunt like that.
lyman alpha blob , January 15, 2021 at 9:32 am
Nuland is a disgusting human being. Since she is a right winger, regardless of what party may be listed on her voter ID, I don't think Bettridge's law applies here at all.
So glad all these 'woke' people put good old Uncle Joe back in office. Wonder how many realized they were supporting people being burned alive by actual Nazis in doing so?
From an actual journalist, Robert Parry – https://consortiumnews.com/2014/05/10/burning-ukraines-protesters-alive/
clarky90 , January 15, 2021 at 3:46 pm
So the USA now has literally placed, "literal fascists" in power?
Mark Gisleson , January 15, 2021 at 10:26 am
More war is not the answer to any of the problems facing us.
Carolinian , January 15, 2021 at 11:35 am
Thanks for this. Our "learned nothing/forgot nothing" Bourbon restoration will be led by one of the dimmer Bourbons who couldn't even set up a good grift in Ukraine without boasting about it and then angrily denying it. Should the press finally, improbably turn on him it should make for some fun news conferences. But perhaps he'll merely be moving to the White House basement from his Delaware basement.
Encephalitis Lethargica , January 15, 2021 at 12:47 pm
CFTC's budgets are also set through congressional authorization and appropriations. Yes, the CFPB is not subject to Congressional appropriations, but for good reasons. However, all financial regulation can be overturned by the Congressional Review Act.
As for the article, citation needed. Sort of a laundry heap of questionable material. Make no mistake, the Russo-Ukrainian War is a real war. Uniformed Russian armored infantry of 331st regiment of the 98th Svirsk airborne division dropped into Ukraine territory on 24 August 2014. From 25 to 27 August, Russian troops in civilian clothing, backed up by an armored column [not in disguise] took Novoazovsk. This is about Russia not being able to station 25,000 troops in Crimea as they had under Yanukovych. US troop levels in Europe have been at their lowest for the last 20 years. The US would like to [nay, needs to] keep it that way. However, the erosion of territorial integrity is a touchy subject in Europe given the lasting peace of the post-war period in a place where the wars have a pre-fix like "Hundred Years".
President Arseniy Yatsenyuk is of Jewish origin so the claims of coordination with Nazi sympathizers is dubious. Not even going to get the boycotted unconstitutional Crimean referendum.
As for WW III, Obama's defense department made it a priority to recover all the MANPADS, such as the Chinese-made FN-6 [via Qatar], Russian-made Strela-2's and Igla-S's [via Libya] from the FSA without so much as a thank you from the Russian Air Force. [Turkey, on the other hand, armed the FSA with Stinger's.] It should be noted that the Syrian conflict's death toll, in just four years, surpassed the 19-year death toll in all the Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq war theatres combined.
Think about this way: who needs NATO and the EU more to maintain his power structure, Joe Biden or Vladimir Putin. Isn't it clear Americans don't care, and American business does not look to compete in Russian anytime soon. The geography is wrong. But Putin must find a way to engender ethnicities who do not like the Russian Empire, who had been cleansed by Stalin. One way is to sell energy below cost to the republics and buy in back from political allies in the form of electricity. Something upon which the EU frowns. [Personally, I did not care for the way Putin early on systematically and indiscriminately starved Chechen civilians for years. It was cruel on a level unseen outside of the Rwandan genocide. More importantly, it was the Russian Federation abdicating its authority by not providing for its own citizens and not letting NGO's fill the calorie gap. I'd like to think had Putin's admin not been so wobbly the first few years, he might've let the Red Cross feed the children.]
John Steinbach , January 15, 2021 at 4:35 pm
There is overwhelming documentation of Yatsenuk's collaboration with Svboda & other fascist organizations in forming the coup government. For example: https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/analysis-u-s-cozies-kiev-government-including-far-right-n66061
Russia was never going to permit a US orchestrated coup in Ukraine without resistance. The idea that Putin needs NATO more than Biden does seems unreasonable.
steelyman , January 15, 2021 at 11:02 pm
Talking about "citations", perhaps you could supply the readership of this site with some credible citations and links for a few of the far fetched claims you're making here. Most of this comment reads like pro-Ukrainian propaganda.
Matthew G. Saroff , January 15, 2021 at 1:30 pm
I heard about Gary Gensler, Samantha Power, and Victoria Nuland, and I immediately thought, "The good, the bad, and the ugly."
Gensler surprised everyone when he was at the CFTC by doing his job, and doing it well, and his running the SEC is a good thing.
Samantha Power is an aggressive war monger, and in her position at USAID, she will likely have her fingers in regime change pie, since USAID is part of the deep state regime change apparatus..
Nuland is just a pro-Nazi nut though.
Jack Parsons , January 15, 2021 at 9:39 pm
About NATO and the Ukraine war:
I've long suspected that NATO has existed since 1991 to allow the US/EU axis to control Middle-Eastern and African resources. For example, the Rammstein military hospital is where every Gulf War soldier was airlifted for major treatment and convalescence.
Also, there is a huge international trade in opium. It's grown in Afpak and shipped out in every direction. I suspect that a fair amount of that flows through Ukraine and Crimea. If you look at a topo map of Crimea, there's a lot of seashore that could be good "smuggler's coves". Following this line of argument, Russia grabbing it from Ukraine was a gimme to Russia's gangsters. This, as well as the "Pipeline Wars", gives Russia a strong reason to encircle Ukraine.
Jan 15, 2021 | www.americanthinker.comJoe Biden's Weird Version of Goebbels' Big Lie By James S. Corum
At his press conference on July 8, Joe Biden offered a rather bizarre interpretation of history, in which he likened Ted Cruz and his challenge to some electoral votes to Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and the "Big Lie." Biden illustrated his point by referring to the Allied bombing of Dresden in February 1945 in which, he said, "250 or 2,500 people" were killed. And yet Joseph Goebbels inflated the number to 25,000, even 250,000, thus perpetrating "The Big Lie." Biden added, "like Goebbels and the Great Lie. You keep repeating the lie, repeating the lie."
As an historian I am flummoxed at Biden's illustration of Dresden as a Big Lie. In fact, the best estimate is that 28,000 people died in the bombing of Dresden. In a bizarre way, however, Joe Biden has accurately linked the Allied bombing campaign of Germany to the Big Lie of Nazi propaganda. Except the Nazi Big Lie was not about Dresden. Rather it was about the British and American bombing of Hamburg in 1943. From July 24 through August 2, 1943, the Allied air forces, mainly the RAF, unleashed a series of massive bomber raids against Hamburg involving as many as 700+ planes at a time.
Hamburg, one of Germany's greatest industrial centers, was struck in a way no previous city had been. The raids were especially devastating, inflicting an estimated 34,000 to 38,000 dead. The raid of 27 July 1943 alone, in which atmospheric conditions created a firestorm, killed more than 18,000 Hamburg residents. The Allied attack on Hamburg destroyed or damaged more than 60% of the housing in the city and wrecked more than half the factories, a serious blow to German industrial production. The Hamburg raids came as a gigantic shock to the Nazi leadership and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels admitted to his diary that Germany was losing the war.
The Big Lie about Hamburg was the official position of the Nazi government put through the German news media: Hamburg had been bombed but casualties were not heavy, damage was not severe, and the city was carrying on. Indeed, it sounded plausible at first. Up to summer 1943, Germany was coping well with RAF bombing raids. The German civil defense system was well-organized and able to quickly repair infrastructure, put damaged factories back into operation, and efficiently feed and rehouse civilians made homeless.
But in Hamburg the German government and military were simply overwhelmed. More than half the city's inhabitants lost their housing and possessions, and the streets were choked with the dead. A million civilians were immediately evacuated from Hamburg, broken into groups and dispatched from suburban train stations to towns all across Germany so that no single area would be overwhelmed by the mass of refugees who needed food and housing. Thousands of concentration camp prisoners (unable to communicate the horrors they saw) were brought into Hamburg to collect and bury the tens of thousands of dead in mass graves and to clear streets of rubble. The destruction was so severe that Hamburg never recovered during the war.
The shell-shocked survivors of the Hamburg bombing were warned by the Gestapo not to speak of what they had experienced -- or else. Every effort was made by the Nazis to insist that Hamburg was still a functioning city. In 1943 Germans who listened to the news from British radio (which provided accurate accounts of the scale of casualties and damage of the Hamburg raids) could be arrested and even executed. Hamburg survivors who told their new neighbors about the devastation they witnessed invited arrest by the Gestapo. Every effort was made to keep the truth of Hamburg from the German public.
Yet survivors still talked. One cannot go through such a horrific experience and keep silent. A million witnesses saw the inability of the Reich government to prevent a major city from becoming a literal Hell. The stories all rang true, and the common people of Germany believed the survivors. Only diehard Nazis believed the official German government line after Hamburg and increasing numbers of Germans turned to listening to forbidden British radio rather than the state propaganda. German civilian morale plummeted when people realized that if the Allies could totally devastate one of Germany's greatest cities in a few days, then the war was truly lost.
The big lie failed. Still, the Gestapo made sure that Germans carried on the war effort to the end.
It's interesting to watch the Democrats constantly making historical analogies to Naziism because, at every attempt, they display their astounding ignorance of history. From the historical context, a Big Lie is a demand by political leaders that the public believe something highly improbable. This belief is repeated by a government-controlled media and its public acceptance is coerced by government agencies and a co-opted judicial system. Ted Cruz and a handful of minority senators and congressmen publicly contesting corrupt and illegal actions of state and local governments does not fit the historical definition of the Big Lie. For Biden's charge to work we must accept, as an article of faith, that election fraud is virtually nonexistent, that one-party Democrat machine cities in the swing states are devoted to serving the public, and that the humble and devoted leaders and civil servants of these cities would never, ever break the law for political and personal gain.
The Big Lie of 2020 is that it was a clean and honest election. Like the Big Lie of Hamburg raids, the Big Lie will fail. Like Hamburg in 1943, there are simply too many witnesses. There are the videos of election observers being blocked in several cities and videos in Atlanta of observers sent away, and in their absence election workers piling ballots into the counting machines. There is sworn testimony from hundreds of election workers detailing illegal actions. There are the Dominion machines in Michigan that were set up to create ballot errors which were "adjudicated" (flipped) in favor of Democrats. There is hard documentary evidence of the dead voting by mail, or of (supposedly) living voters receiving and returning their ballots by the postal service within a day. There are thousands of Georgia voters who illegally provided post office box numbers as their place of residence. There is the analysis of highly respected IT experts and statisticians who have spotted statistically implausible vote spikes, unusual local turnout, and voting patterns not seen in previous elections. The evidence presented at state legislative hearings (I watched some on One America News) is thorough, well-documented and plausible.
Joe Biden is beginning his presidency with one of the biggest lies in the history of American politics. On top of the "honest election" lie, he will have to maintain lies about his family's Chinese and Ukrainian business connections, as well as his involvement in illegal deep state surveillance of political opponents. With so many lies, we'll have an interesting time seeing the Democrats defending Biden over the next four years. Still, the historical pattern is consistent. Even the most coercive states cannot maintain the Big Lie.
Photo credit: YouTube screengrab
James S. Corum PhD is a military historian, author and co-author of 14 books, and is a retired lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserve.
Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/01/joe_bidens_weird_version_of_goebbels_big_lie.html#ixzz6jdmVcvoY
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Jan 15, 2021 | turcopolier.typepad.com
RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 14 JANUARY 2021 by Patrick Armstrong
RUSSIA-CHINA. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says: "I n developing China-Russia strategic cooperation, we see no limit, no forbidden zone and no ceiling to how far this cooperation can go ." The two now settle 25% of their business in their own currencies . I would say that the two lasting achievements of the neo-cons and their New American Century have been the ever-closer Moscow-Beijing alliance and the increased influence of Iran. Who did win the Cold War after all ?
RESERVES. The Central Bank of Russia has published its account of Russia reserves as of 30 June 2020 . The total was 561.1 billion USD (up $44.3 billion since a year before). Euro holdings accounted for 29.5% . For the first time ever gold (22.9%) was a bigger proportion than USD (22.2%). Renminbi was 12.2%. Russia's economy – failing always failing .
NAVALNIY. The report from the Charité Hospital in Berlin fires another nail gun's worth into the coffin of the Navalniy story. Numerous health problems, lots of drugs in him, but no novichok symptoms .
COVID. Putin has ordered mass use of the Sputnik vaccine (1.5 million inoculated already). No side effects, they say . A scientist is optimistic that COVID will have faded down by the summer .
PUTIN CHRISTMAS. What Putin did on the 6th ; what some Americans think he did . Or this.
WESTERN VALUES™. As Western social media apps censor, people are bailing out and Russian ones grow: the founder of Telegram says 25 million new members have joined in past 72 hours . These things are bubbles: Twitter and Facebook are said to have lost fifty billion dollars after banning Trump .
PAVLIK REDEVIVUS. From Vladimir Goldstein . And she wants to be a lawyer, too .
JOKES. Just heard this one: I can make anti-Putin jokes on Russian social media. So, what, I can make anti-Putin jokes on Western social media. (A re-tread of a Soviet-era joke). Or this: Due to travel restrictions abroad, Americans have done a coup at home.
MOON. Moscow considering manned moon mission . Hmmmm . Russian/Chinese base on the Moon in ten years?
SURVEILLANCE. Moscow City has revealed a plan to spend money on a database containing information about every resident, including passport numbers, insurance policies, salaries, car registrations. Much of it appears to already exist. For safety, security and convenience, of course. Mind you, we all volunteered: we all carry smartphones around broadcasting everything we do.
ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN. Putin chaired a meeting of the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan . They signed a statement on development of Karabakh region. Here are the official statements after the meeting. Its another step in resolving the difficult problem which has deep roots. I note a reference to the OSCE Minsk Group but I don't expect it to get much involved. It's done nothing much in 28 years and who wants the West meddling in the area anyway?
THE EMPTINESS OF FORMER FLAPS. " After months of bashing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, Western journalists in Moscow line up to be inoculated ". A reminder of the job description .
NUGGETS FROM THE STUPIDITY MINE. I am amused that the US Navy has announced that it may start "freedom of navigation" trips in the Russian Arctic (despite not not signing on to the UNCLOS .) But the biggest US icebreaker is rather elderly and can barely handle two-metre ice . So perhaps it will lease icebreakers from Finland . Given that the Arctic is a Russian lake , not least because of the Russian monopoly of gigantic icebreakers , one can easily image some embarrassments for the Americans.
NEW NWO. " We are seeing images that I never imagined we would see in this country-in some other capital yes, but not here. No one in the world is likely to see, respect, fear, or depend on us in the same way again. If the post-American era has a start date, it is almost certainly today ." Richard N Haass .
EUROPEANS ARE REVOLTING. After seven years of negotiation, the EU and China have produced a comprehensive trade agreement . Washington is not amused . Meanwhile Nord Stream 2 chugs along .
UKRAINE. Has been left rather high and dry on vaccines with none of its BFFs in the West doing anything for it. But the Foreign Minister insists Kiev will not buy Sputnik vaccine even if it works: "It [Russia] cares about imposing its propaganda cliches and ideology by supplying the vaccine, even if it were effective" . Like most things in Ukraine, it's a mess .
© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer
Jan 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jan 14 2021 17:15 utc | 23
Hat tip to Pepe Escobar for this news. Glen Diesen has published a critical new book, Great Power Politics in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Geoeconomics of Technological Sovereignty . The initial reviews are quite tempting. A snippet from one of several:
"Diesen takes on and brings together two large phenomena, namely the revolution in technology and the change in global power relations."
My continual question: Will the Western world's morality evolve quickly enough to keep pace with technological progress? I have no worries about Eurasian morality. Rather, it's the West's loss of its 500 years of domination and what it will do to recoup that immoral position that's most troublesome.
Jan 14, 2021 | alaff84.wordpress.com
The 16th big press conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn a line. In the history of the "concentration of Russia", a thirty-year period has come to an end, characterized by successively advancing: fascination with the West, doubt in the West, and disillusionment with Western "values". Russia has entered a new period.
During the final press conference of Putin, an incident occurred that caused a lot of funny comments in Russian society and in the Russian press. BBC journalist Steven Rosenberg asked the Russian President: "Is Vladimir Putin personally responsible for the deterioration of relations with Western countries? Or is Russia all these 20 years of Putin's rule "white and fluffy"? And, in addition, as expected, [he asked] "how is it going with the investigation into the poisoning of Navalny?"
A dialogue ensued, during which the British journalist looked rather pathetic, to which everyone paid attention. But the result of this conversation, although everyone quoted it, was not appreciated by anyone. In the end [of the dialogue], it was said that Putin is responsible for the people of Russia and before the people of Russia, and that yes, we are white and fluffy, especially compared to you.
I can understand how the British journalist felt at this time. The world collapsed around him. From his point of view, such an end to the conversation was simply impossible. He was not taught this.
Recollection of the present
I know very well what I am saying. In 1993, together with another three dozen diplomats representing all post-Soviet republics (including Russia) and all post-socialist countries of Eastern Europe (then none of them were members of either NATO or the EU, although everyone already dreamed of), I was at diplomatic internship in the UK. Among other things, we were offered an educational format for communicating with the Western press, which (what a coincidence) was represented by a rather elderly lady from the BBC. She explained to us for a long time and tediously that we, as government officials, would have to listen carefully to the position of journalists and if the journalist himself (especially a Western one) became interested in some information or pointed out some political error, then the information should be provided immediately, and the error should be corrected with an apology.
She talked for about forty minutes. I waited until she was exhausted and asked: "Why?" I waited on purpose. Usually, in such cases, our Western friends simply repeat their monologue. But the journalist was already quite second-hand, she had fizzled out over the previous hour and, losing her guard, missed a hit. She answered with a question to the question: "What do you mean why?".
It was then that I explained to her that in any country, Great Britain is no exception, there are a lot of journalists from mass media. And each of them will be happy to interview a government official and receive exclusive information on his (official's) terms. And such "smart" ones as she won't even get into the waiting room. There are many ways to avoid accreditation under a plausible pretext. And after her publication is given to understand that no one will ever speak to this journalist in this country, she will simply be fired for incompetence or sent to the Papuans, from where one report is published every ten years.
This dialogue took place in the summer of 1993. I was 27 then. I think that Steven Rosenberg was then at the same (plus or minus a couple of years) age. I have long forgotten the name of the BBC lady, but I will never forget her face. She looked at me as if the gates of hell had opened behind me and the entire infernal army was about to rush at her. Rosenberg's face was half hidden by a mask, but it could not hide his confusion, further emphasized by a stampede from the press conference.
Let me stress again that I understand him well and sympathize with him. 27 years ago, when the incident I described above happened, journalists already liked to speculate about the "fourth power", but most of them themselves did not really believe in this thesis. Nevertheless, open disregard for the "rights of the press" was not comme il faut even then. Like "homophobia" about ten years later.
Since then, the young and then seasoned BBC journalist Steven Rosenberg was taught for 27 years that he was not just a "fourth power", but a representative of Western civilizers in a semi-primitive world that dreams of becoming like the West. Stephen is the bearer of civilization. Any of his statements is a priori true, and the authorities of the "wild tribes" to whom he brings civilization must justify themselves to him and immediately rush to eliminate the shortcomings he has noticed.
"Russia is disappointed with Europe's inability to defend its interests on its own"
And after all, for a long time it was so. Including in Russia. Not that the Kremlin believed in the Western "mission of good offices", but they proceeded from the fact that compromise is better than enmity and were ready to make reasonable concessions in anticipation of reciprocal steps. It cannot be said that this strategy has completely failed to justify itself. Part of the Western world, especially in the EU and especially in Germany and Italy, really strives to build equal pragmatic relations with Russia on the basis of a mutually acceptable compromise.
But the part is not the whole, and on the whole, the Western world retains its hostility towards Russia, poorly hidden by unfounded arrogance. Moreover, it is clear that despite the strengthening of the Western political circles sympathetic to our country, this trend will not be broken in the coming years. But then it will be too late. The window of opportunity will close.
Any political decision is possible and expedient within a certain time frame. If someone does not have time to meet these deadlines, then they have to implement a different version of the future. That is why not a single serious state works according to the principle of no alternative. There are always fallbacks, maybe not as good, but not disastrous, usually just less profitable. But those who are late for the joint train to the future remain at a broken trough.
2020 was the year of summing up the results in Russian-European relations. At the level of statements by politicians and press materials, at the level of visits, agreements and active events, the fading of Russia's interest in the European vector and the redirection of the dominant of its foreign policy to the Far and Middle East became noticeable.
The last warning was the autumn speeches of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in which it was stated openly that Russia is disappointed with Europe's inability to defend its interests on its own and, given this factor, does not expect anything else from cooperation with the West and does not plan to unilaterally take into account the opinion and the interests of the West.
Perhaps in the UK or specifically on the BBC, being immersed in their Brexit, Lavrov was not heard. But that's their problem. Russia is not doing anything out of the blue. Before openly telling the West that "We didn't actually want to work with them" a long-term (stretching over a decade and a half) work was carried out to search for alternative markets, to import substitution of critical products imported from the West, to strengthen the army, to recreate the ocean-going fleet, gaining allies, creating military bases controlling trade routes that are critical for Russia.
The West missed this entire era of "concentration of Russia" (the expression of Chancellor Gorchakov). Already the second time the West misses (the first "concentration" in the XXI century ended in 2008). In Europe and the United States they consoled themselves with the fact that Russia is a "colossus with feet of clay", that it does not have sufficient resources even to intervene in the situation in the post-Soviet space, that "Moscow is bluffing", that the West is indispensable because it is a "civilizational choice" etc.
And suddenly, in 2020, the collective West saw that Russia's positioning towards it had changed dramatically. If earlier [the West's] claims were heard, explanations were given, Russia was trying to prove something, now Europe began to be ignored as an annoying mistress. With some countries, the Kremlin has stopped talking altogether, with some it talks, but "without respect."
"Yes, we are white and fluffy"! -- But only for ourselves. So what will you do to us?
Western journalists, especially BBC journalists, do not ask random questions at press conferences of heads of state. BBC is a state corporation, its activities are aimed at realizing the state interests of Great Britain, including collecting information using the possibilities of journalism. By asking the question "Are you white and fluffy?" -- the leading circles of the West probed the soil and were ready to hear anything in response, except what sounded: "Yes, we are white and fluffy" -- and your opinion on this issue interests us least of all.
This is the point, the end of the long-term flirtation between Russia and the West, which the West hoped to start up in an absolute moral and material gain, and suddenly sees itself in the role of "Ariadne abandoned." Given the Western vindictiveness, such public humiliation of it became possible only following the results of a decade and a half of well-coordinated, albeit invisible, work of all Russian state structures, including state-owned companies.
In 2014, the West was surprised to learn that Russia is able to ensure its food security (over the next six years, Moscow has been steadily increasing its food exports). In 2015, the West became convinced of the stability of the Russian financial system, which it never managed to break. In 2016, the West still laughed at the "cartoons" and argued that in reality Russia did not have demonstrated weapons systems, because it could never be. Since 2018, he has been forced to admit his critical lag in the military sphere. In 2017-2018 the West suddenly learned that Russia concentrates on itself the supply of liquefied gas, for which the West was a de facto monopoly, one by one introducing the corresponding terminals in the North and the Far East (which makes the fight against Nord Stream 2 and other flows senseless, since Russian gas will come to Europe by a route alternative to the Ukrainian one, if not through gas pipelines, then with the help of gas carriers). By 2020, the West learned that Russia is also able to build gas carriers on its own (as well as other ships and vessels of any class).
In parallel, international systems of cooperation between Russia and China, Iran, Turkey and Egypt were being built. If, until about 2014, Russia's priority was to ensure internal stability and security in the context of a likely break with the West, then the emphasis in domestic policy shifted to disavowing the ideological expansion of the West, and in foreign policy to building alternative trade and economic ties, securing promising markets. and partners.
All this, of course, is not as beautiful as the even ranks of the royal grenadiers, bravely breaking the enemy's resistance under a hail of grapeshot. But for the latter to become possible, many years of routine work are needed to create an independent economy capable of meeting the needs of the army and the people in any conditions, for a period of time of any length, as well as to provide the rear with reliable military-political alliances.
And only after many years of efforts of millions of people, someone alone can smile and say to the unfortunate journalist, turning over his head to the collective West: "Yes, we are white and fluffy!" -- So what will you do to us?
In the history of Russia, a thirty-year period has come to an end, characterized by successively advancing: fascination with the West, doubt in the West, and disillusionment with Western "values." The line has been drawn. Russia has entered a new period characterized by indifference towards the West and a lack of illusions about all of its current partners and allies. We leave ideals for home use, for external use we have only interests. Russia itself has built its own well-being and is going to use it itself. And whoever doesn't like it, can cry, or gnaw the earth, or bite his elbows. We are "white and fluffy", but only for ourselves.
Rostislav Ischenko, 21.12.2020 / Source .
Jan 13, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Jan 12 2021 20:43 utc | 20
The apartheid settler gang is beneath contempt. It blocks supply of vaccines for covid to the Palestinian people and blockades their trade and freedom of travel and navigation. Like the USA they have totally filled up with hubris and lost their way in the world.
Biden has surrounded himself with dual allegiance appointees in the critical security agencies so that he cannot achieve peace or make progress with any of his (foolishly) perceived enemy nations. He will find it almost impossible to negotiate in any meaningful way with Iran or China or Russia or Iraq or Syria or pretty much any other nation that is invaded by his armies or sanctioned by his idiot decisions or threatened by Israel's belligerence.
The tensions have been incredibly heightened in many nations due to the coronavirus transmission within their populations and the persistent suspicion that it has a USA origin. Any USAi pretense of negotiating in good faith in these circumstances is virtually impossible. All the more so when reactionaries lead both Israel and USA.
Biden is right when he says nothing will change. His ally in the middle east, Israel, has an arsenal of formidable power sufficient to command an uncomfortable peace in any circumstance. Yet it has no integrity to clinch a deal with anybody such is the universal distrust of their intentions. Time and again this illegal settler state has mauled every neighbor in a most grievous way. Every week they attack Syria with missiles! The aggrieved neighbors will not forget or forgive the treachery. That is just how it is.
There are no statesmen in the USA or Israel with the nous or capacity to find a way out.
fyi , Jan 12 2021 21:48 utc | 29Mr. karlof1fyi , Jan 12 2021 21:49 utc | 30
US is still digging herself in the religious war against Islam.
She cannot offer anything to Iranians any longer - Mr. Trump's war against Iran had eviscerated whatever US or EU had to offer to Iran.
US cannot even end the war in Palestine; she does not have that power.Mr. steven t johnson
Israelis are not Western, they are Eastern European and Middle Easterners for the most part.
They lack the culture of Western Europe.
Jan 13, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kooshy , Jan 12 2021 20:23 utc | 18
Few observations on Biden, Iran and the nuclear deal.
I don't know if US will or will not return to implement it's obligations under the UNSC 2231, nor I know if US Jewish lobby will allow that. But for sure Iran will not renegotiate for new terms or a new deal on nuclear program secondly under no circumstances Iran will negotiate (with anyone) her conventional military capabilities or her policies and alliances toward her allies in the region since these are real matter of national security for Iran. But also there are signs from Biden that should be considered. Firstly almost all Biden's national security team are diplomats with experience negotiating with Iran that could be a signal on policy change, secondly I believe due to strategic failure of maximum pressure to subdue Iran and more importantly due to US' own strategic necessity to keep China and Russia away from ME, US and EU will want to decouple or even prevent Iran from a mutual strategic necessity or alliance with China or and Russia for that reason IMO it might be possible US will adopt a new posture toward Iran. I also believe Iran's foreign policy in ME is basically based on her long term interests and security with her regional alliances, multipolarity, and stability in her region, therefore any proposal by US or EU to agitate this policy will be rejected or not adopted by Iran.
uncle tungsten , Jan 12 2021 20:43 utc | 20groucho , Jan 12 2021 20:45 utc | 21
The apartheid settler gang is beneath contempt. It blocks supply of vaccines for covid to the Palestinian people and blockades their trade and freedom of travel and navigation. Like the USA they have totally filled up with hubris and lost their way in the world.
Biden has surrounded himself with dual allegiance appointees in the critical security agencies so that he cannot achieve peace or make progress with any of his (foolishly) perceived enemy nations. He will find it almost impossible to negotiate in any meaningful way with Iran or China or Russia or Iraq or Syria or pretty much any other nation that is invaded by his armies or sanctioned by his idiot decisions or threatened by Israel's belligerence.
The tensions have been incredibly heightened in many nations due to the coronavirus transmission within their populations and the persistent suspicion that it has a USA origin. Any USAi pretense of negotiating in good faith in these circumstances is virtually impossible. All the more so when reactionaries lead both Israel and USA.
Biden is right when he says nothing will change. His ally in the middle east, Israel, has an arsenal of formidable power sufficient to command an uncomfortable peace in any circumstance. Yet it has no integrity to clinch a deal with anybody such is the universal distrust of their intentions. Time and again this illegal settler state has mauled every neighbor in a most grievous way. Every week they attack Syria with missiles! The aggrieved neighbors will not forget or forgive the treachery. That is just how it is.
There are no statesmen in the USA or Israel with the nous or capacity to find a way out.Dr. George W Oprisko , Jan 13 2021 0:30 utc | 50
Did I hear someone say something about "the tail wagging the dog" ?
A new JCPOA will obviously have to eliminate all sanctions. But that might not be enough. Iran might want compensation for the economic damage done, compensation from the UK, France, and Germany as well as the US. Moreover, Iran will want to keep its now much larger stockpile of low-enriched uranium. It might want an even larger stockpile, and the right to enrich to 20%, which it is now doing. A breeder reactor and a plutonium stockpile would be nice, too.
But there are even other demands that might be made: reduction or removal of US/NATO/Israeli forces in the Gulf; reduction or elimination of Israeli nuclear weapons.
That train left the station.
In the past 5 years Iran re-configured it's economy into an autarcic fully industrialized, food secure, and diversified economy. It now earns more from the sale of manufactures and foods than from petroleum. It now manufactures AfraMax tankers, general cargo vessels, and naval vessels. It manufactures cars and trucks, and railroad rolling stock. It built hydro and irrigation schemes. It launches satellites into orbit.
Iran is now pressing ahead with the Arak heavy water reactor.
Khameni just banned import of NATO vaccines, and ordered the country to be vaccinated with Iran's own vaccine.
Khameni and the hard liners will not permit Iran to rejoin or to negotiate any agreements with the "Great Satan". Their line will be the US must show itself to be agreement capable by rejoining the JCPOA and removing any and all sanctions while paying damages too.
Iran will increase the amount of assistance given the Houthis. Trump's declaration of the Houthis as terrorists, benefits the resistance by solidifying their adherence to it. The Houthis must now "go for broke" or surrender. They will not surrender.
The harsh reality is Biden/Harris will be occupied at home suppressing the MAGA crowd. Since this group is 74 million strong, and mostly white, in a country trying to make them second class citizens, will be quite a challenge that. The jury is still out on that one.
Then there is the not so small matter of US oil production dropping like a stone from 12 mmBbl/day to 7 by July with further drops in the following 12 months. This coupled with and likely due to bankruptcies of a large number of producers going forward.
Will be an interesting year.
Jan 13, 2021 | www.unz.com
John Regan , says: January 12, 2021 at 2:22 pm GMT • 13.9 hours ago@anarchyst hen made public utilities available for all (obviously without compensation to the owners). No more of the sad "private company" excuse, and no more billions into the pockets of criminals who hate us.
Also, make Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Pichai et al. serve serious jail time for election tampering if nothing else. Both to send out a clear warning to others, and for the simple decency to see justice served.
Of course this will not happen short of a French Revolution-style regime shift. But since (sadly) the same is equally true even for your extremely generous and modest proposal, I see no harm in dreaming a little bigger.
Jan 11, 2021 | thesaker.is
Mike from Jersey on January 07, 2021 , · at 8:00 pm EST/EDTcitymouse on January 08, 2021 , · at 1:07 am EST/EDT
Mr. Roberts is right on point when he says that Trump will be locked up.
The people running the United States are going to make an example of Trump. They will send a message that no "outsider" should ever again dare to run for President.
Trump will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Mark my words.Jimmy on January 08, 2021 , · at 2:58 am EST/EDT
I fear you are right. In this case it might be better if he weren't such a street fighter, because standing up for himself to me isn't worth the price he will pay. He should get himself and his family post haste to a country with no extradition and simply live the rest of his life in peace. No one needs the vitriol that has been and will continue to be heaped on him.James on January 08, 2021 , · at 5:02 am EST/EDT
Trump _should_ spend the rest of his life behind bars -- for contributing to the deaths of tens of thousands of human beings. Ordinary Syrians, Iranians, Cubans, and Venezuelans died because of the murderous sanctions Washington put on their countries, and Pres. Trump did nothing to help -- and in fact, intensified them.
Very similar to his indifference to the plight of Edward Snowden & Julian Assange. Trump is a monster of self-centredness. In fact, in the words of his own former White House Chief of Staff, he is 'the most damaged human being I have ever met.' Just the sort of creature we would expect to find as head of the US empireaugusto on January 08, 2021 , · at 8:37 am EST/EDT
I'm afraid you are spot on -- Trump lies to the World when he was running for President & then broke almost all of his promises -especially to drain the Swamp. He also unforgivably allowed the Jews to take over Palistinian land etc. He has alot to answer for even if he wasn't as War like as the 3 Presidents before him.Bill Osborne Jr on January 08, 2021 , · at 9:40 am EST/EDT
YOu re problably right, Jimmy.
But it turns out differently when one gets the point where Trump locked up prospect here is not him but a whole lot of american people trying to get rid of globalism and the need for wars
Who might be buried up along with him.Boris Kazlov on January 08, 2021 , · at 4:14 pm EST/EDT
Trump should have pardoned Snowden and Assange instead of Jared Kushner's criminal father.eagle eye on January 08, 2021 , · at 6:43 pm EST/EDT
You are only looking to his overseas policy.
That is an imposition of the military and Zionists, when you dance with a gorilla you gotta him a banana.Katherine on January 09, 2021 , · at 9:19 pm EST/EDT
But not a word about the crimes of those who preceded him, which included the ultimate crime, that of engaging in unjustified warfare?
Your post implies you have a standard of behaviour you are judging Trump by. By definition it must be universally applied, otherwise all you are seeking is the selective imposition of your view.Disaffected on January 08, 2021 , · at 7:56 am EST/EDT
I agree. If Trump deserves lockup, so do Obama, Bush, and the Clintons.
I hate virtually all of Trump's policies. I hate his stupidity in continually hiring people who hated him. He could have turned to members of the genuine left -- men such as Stephen Cohen -- for advice.
But that is not the point. Since 2016 those who tried to eliminate Trump did so not for his real crimes but for made-up. Basically his crime of being president in the first place.
I n a classic act of projection, woke Dems accuse Trump of not conceding, whereas in fact they are the ones who never conceded the presidency in 2016. This is so obvious, and yet it has apparently become invisible to most!!! Memory hole opened up like a crack in the earth behind each step.
Trump's crime, for which he may actually be locked up, was in truth just winning the presidency in 2016 and humiliating Hillary (whom everyone hated anyhow). I am becoming quite terrified of people I have known all my my life and even am related to.
KatherineMaltus on January 08, 2021 , · at 7:49 pm EST/EDT
Trump is already charred toast. It appears that he's not even in charge now. Self-preservation is his only concern now.Gorgeous George on January 08, 2021 , · at 1:19 pm EST/EDT
Corrected assessment. His wealth and his 5 children (and their future) are too much of a liability for him to do the necessary. His policy of appeasement will not work though with the rabid bolshevik kabal.
I think he and his family will be persecuted and likely prosecuted unless the has the foresight to move to Russia and save his skin.Craig Mouldey on January 08, 2021 , · at 2:07 pm EST/EDT
The gullibility of Trump is astounding. He did everything to keep the swamp happy, to keep Israel happy, flipped on Nato and on Russia, had hawks left and right and at the end he will be discarded like a used condom.
Russia saw it from the get go, at the end he will have the full weight of both parties against him, and instead of locking her up it will be the other way around. The cowards have no sense of decency, they will not show any good will like he did.
Trump betrayed his base, failed to organize again and again, put his trust in all the wrong people and now is done. I'll be surprised if he doesn't face jailtime on some trumped up charges.
For all his charisma and good intentions he turned out a clueless clown, sad clown at the end. History will not be kind, and neither will the victors.
True Americans have seen their last train leave the station, it will take time to realize that there are no more trains. Game over.Alabama on January 08, 2021 , · at 2:26 pm EST/EDT
I thought this was a good summation by Dr. Roberts. I can't help but think that Donald Trump is a man with no common sense, lacking the real conviction of his words and just not very bright or he was to some degree willfully complicit in this now obviously dire state the U.S. finds itself. Maybe he owed the Rothschild clan a favour.
If anyone thinks there is some good news because this murderous, warring empire is coming to an end, I suggest you think again. The war machine is still fully intact and funded. The international bankers who are in complete control are buying up everything and are planning on a 'reset' dictated by them. To the world! Understandably, there will likely be a few countries who do not feel inclined to agree with this reset and it's terms. There will have to be war to correct this thinking, even if a billion or more are killed. The more the merrier. Less 'useless eaters' to deal with.
Try to see something good in creation every day. Try to do good every day. This world as it is does not have much time. Someone said that what cannot go on forever won't! At some point, the One who gives life to all will say it is enough. Some of us just celebrated his most blessed nativity.Disaffected on January 08, 2021 , · at 3:20 pm EST/EDT
This guy biden is king of promises, and as every year goes by and so many promises are not met, don't think these people wont show up on D.C.'s doorstep looking for revenge.
This is just the tip of the iceburg.Alabama on January 09, 2021 , · at 7:35 am EST/EDT
Who better to preside over the collapse of the empire? The usual rules will apply: the feckless Dems – always at their abysmal worst when they assume power – will blame the "evil Reps" for everything that goes wrong (and there will be plenty – although none of it will ever be discussed publicly!), and the Reps will be at their sterling obstructionist best. Talk of impeachment for Biden – who will be nowhere in sight for most of his term – will linger throughout his term, while Trump will soon be prosecuted and jailed, his entire administration canceled from the official histories, with Queen Hillary named "Presidentess in Exile" for 2016-2020 due to alleged Russian interference with her rightful coronation. The Empire will trumpet from on high for all to hear that this signals the glorious victory of US Democracy (angelic chorus sounds here) over the forces of darkness, or some such agitprop; and the skies will clear, the birds will sing, and a rosy glow will return to the cheeks of all the fair maidens and indeterminant gendered of our great land. The masks, of course, will remain firmly in place, as the "new normal" slowly becomes merely business as usual, and the sheeple graze contentedly in their prison stalls, content in the knowledge that Big Brother is looking out for their health and welfare, at least until the ritual sacrificial slaughter of the lambs should be deemed necessary. For the good of all, of course. Should all make for some excellent reality TV.Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 2:29 pm EST/EDT
Well the empire is going to collapse the citizens before it collapses, and even before the empire collapse comes a global scare of epic proportions to shake and rattle the cage for those whom are not prepared.evilempire on January 08, 2021 , · at 2:54 pm EST/EDT
The moronic face of the fake revolution – looks like the fake American wrestling – only Hulk Hogan was more convincing.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1347035563635986432Beirut on January 08, 2021 , · at 3:53 pm EST/EDT
Trump isn't going anywhere. I was at the rally in DC and listened to his
entire speech on the ellipse. He stated that he would not concede. With
this assurance why would the demonstrators have any reason to aggressively
breach the Capitol building? The whole thing was a staged provocation by antifa.
There are videos of how this was staged all over the internet. Let us all
hope and pray that the Scarlet(Whore) color revolution against Trump is finally
eradiated and extirpated now that all the Deep Satanists have been exposed for
their participation in the coup and election fraud.Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 4:38 pm EST/EDT
The question has been asked – what is the US military going to do? Will they just stay put and watch the theft unfold?
Whilst many commentators were soiling themselves in phantasies of a pro trump military coup to end the charade, drain the swamp and burn down DC, PCR had a very clear view (expressed elsewhere): why would the military object to a new leadership if it promises more war, more blood, more money? It won't, it will welcome it in fact.
Be it as it may, and despite all the stinkin' lies about the election I would think it is too tall an order for a non-murrican to mourn the self-destruction of the most evil, ghastly, ruthless hegemon the world has seen in the last 100 years.
I second the sentiment. It's not even that. The media are full of Muricans' moaning about their fate. It's everywhere – and on top of that, the scumbags are accusing China and Russia for their "tribulations".
We don't care and we don't want to hear about how hard the life is for Billy Bob who would die for the very criminals that have condemned him to a life of meth, moonshine and malingering – while telling him that he is solely responsible for his own miserable existence.
There is a huge big world elsewhere that is currently booming – thousand flowers are blooming despite the oppression by the parasitical cancerous sub-empire – and yet, we obsess over whether Trump is a fraud or not.
I suppose it provides a great platform for ranting :-)
Jan 11, 2021 | caucus99percent.com
Originally published at Café Babylon on Oct. 6, 2014 .
When Google Met WikiLeaks
It seems even more relevant today than it did then. It's longish, so hang in there if you're able. In these post-'Capitol' social media de-platforming days, remember that (Chrome) Google algorithms suppress websites from the conservative and religious right to the 'subversive left (wsws and popular resistance, for instance). And Google bought Youtube in Oct. of 2006 for a paltry $1.65 billion.
If you haven't read it and seen the captioned photos, you'll love ' Google Is Not What It Seems' by Julian Assange, an extract from his new book When Google Met Wikileaks, wikileaks.org
Also see Scott Ritter's 'By banning Trump and his supporters, Google and Twitter are turning the US into a facsimile of the regimes we once condemned', RT.com, Jan. 9, 2021 Two excerpts:
"Digital democracy became privatized when its primary architect, Jared Cohen, left the State Department in September 2010 to take a new position with internet giant Google as the head of 'Google Ideas' now known as 'Jigsaw'. Jigsaw is a global initiative 'think tank' intended to "spearhead initiatives to apply technology solutions to problems faced by the developing world." This was the same job Cohen was doing while at the State Department.
Cohen promoted the notion of a "digital democracy contagion" based upon his belief that the "young people in the Middle East are just a mouse click away, they're just a Facebook connection away, they're just an instant message away, they're just a text message away" from sufficiently organizing to effect regime change. Cohen and Google were heavily involved the January 2011 demonstrations in Egypt, using social networking sites to call for demonstrations and political reform; the "Egyptian contagion" version of 'digital democracy' phenomena was fueled by social networking internet sites run by Egyptian youth groups which took a very public stance opposing the Mubarak regime and calling for political reform."
On Sept. 18 , Julian Assange's new book of that name was published. The material was largely fashioned by conversations he'd had with Google's Eric Schmidt in 2011 at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk, England where Assange was living under house arrest. The ostensible purpose of the requested meeting was to discuss idea for a book that Schmidt and Jared Cohen (advisor to both Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton) were going to write, and in fact did: ' The New Digital Age ' (2013). They were accompanied by the book's editor Scott Malcomson, former senior advisor for the UN and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, who eventually worked at the US State Department, plus Lisa Shields, vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations, closely tied to the State Department, who was Schmidt's partner at the time. Hmmm. The plot, as they say, thickens. From the book's blurb :
'For several hours the besieged leader of the world's most famous insurgent publishing organization and the billionaire head of the world's largest information empire locked horns. The two men debated the political problems faced by society, and the technological solutions engendered by the global network -- from the Arab Spring to Bitcoin. They outlined radically opposing perspectives: for Assange, the liberating power of the Internet is based on its freedom and statelessness. For Schmidt, emancipation is at one with US foreign policy objectives and is driven by connecting non-Western countries to American companies and markets. These differences embodied a tug-of-war over the Internet's future that has only gathered force subsequently.'
Some background that will hopefully entice you to listen to the 42-minute Telesur video (sorry, no transcript) I'll embed below; this is the short version: ' Assange claims Google is in bed with US government'WikiLeaks @wikileaks · Mar 2, 2016 Eating or being eaten? Schmidt now on Pentagon board. Hillary's people in Google and Google running her campaign http:// qz.com/520652/groundw ork-eric-schmidt-startup-working-for-hillary-clinton-campaign/ Well this diary has certainly had me glued online all afternoon.
I have not felt this kind of interest in the interconnected webs of deceit in our government since I read The Devil's Chessboard.
Thanks so much Wendy! up 10 users have voted. --
"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin
Note that in other interviews Assange names 'other private and public security agencies' as well, and names the figures showing how deep Google is into smartphones and almost every nation on the planet. 'Do not be evil'.
If your appetite hasn't been sufficiently whetted to watch the 38-minute Telesur interview, you might at a minimum read 'When Google Met WikiLeaks: Battle for a New Digital Age' by Nozomi Hayase . An excerpt or three, after reminding us that in his earlier 2012 book Cypherpunks, Assange had said that " the internet, our greatest tool for emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen ":
'Assange unveils how, contrary to Google's efforts to create a positive public image by giving away free storage, making it appear not like a corporation driven solely by profit motives, this seemingly philanthropic company is a willing participant in its own government co-optation. Indeed, he argues, Google Ideas was birthed as a brainchild of a Washington think-tank.
Assange described how "Google's bosses genuinely believe in the civilizing power of enlightened multinational corporations, and they see this mission as continuous with the shaping of the world according to the better judgment of the 'benevolent superpower.'" (p. 35). This process is so gradual and discrete that it is hardly conscious on the part of the actors. This digital mega-corporation, through getting too close to the US State Department and NSA, began to incorporate their ambitions and come to see no evil. This internalization of imperial values created what Assange called " the impenetrable banality of 'don't be evil' " (p. 35). It appears that bosses at Google genuinely think they are doing good, while they are quickly becoming part of a power structure that Assange described as a " capricious global system of secret loyalties , owed favors, and false consensus, of saying one thing in public and the opposite in private" (p. 7). Allegiance creates obedience and an unspoken alliance creates a web of self-deception through which one comes to believe one's own lies and becomes entangled in them. [snip]
' Assange pointed to how "the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps" (p. 43).
Google does not see evil in itself. By embedding with U.S. central authority, this global tech company not only fails to see the invisible fist of "American strategic and economic hegemony" that dictates the market, but moreover aspires "to adorn the hidden fist like a velvet glove" (p. 43). By advancing the force of monopoly, they subordinate civic values to economic and U.S. hegemonic interests and escape any real accountability. They no longer recognize the unmediated market that responds to people's demands, a true market that functions as a space of democratic accountability. This normalization of control leads to a subversion of law, creating a rogue state where a ripple effect of corruption is created, as individuals, companies and the state each betray their own stated principles.'
'In a sense, one might conclude that Assange's new book is in itself another leak . In publishing what one might call the "GoogleFiles", Assange conducts his usual job of publishing in the public interest with due diligence by providing the verbatim transcript and audio of the secret meeting. This time, the source of the material was Google themselves who sought out Assange for their publication.'
How wonderful it is that he's rocking Google's Very Large Boat. Hayase also writes that Cohen and Schmidt engage in their own 'statist' version of the 'good whistleblower/bad whistleblower meme we're familiar with. Pfffft.
Google used its front page to back the US government's campaign to bomb Syria: snapshot
More if you'd like it:
From HuffPo's : Julian Assange Fires Back At Eric Schmidt and Google's 'Digital Colonialism', one exchange that's significant:
' HP : What about the substance of Schmidt's defense, that Google is pretty much at war with the U.S. government and that they don't cooperate? He claims that they're working to encrypt everything so that neither the NSA nor anyone else can get in. What would you say to that?
JA : It's a duplicitous statement. It's a lawyerly statement. Eric Schmidt did not say that Google encrypts everything so that the US government can't get at them. He said quite deliberately that Google has started to encrypt exchanges of information -- and that's hardly true, but it has increased amount of encrypted exchanges. But Google has not been encrypting their storage information. Google's whole business model is predicated on Google being able to access the vast reservoir of private information collected from billions of people each day. And if Google can access it, then of course the U.S. government has the legal right to access it, and that's what's been going on.
As a result of the Snowden revelation, Google was caught out. It tried to pretend that those revelations were not valid, and when that failed, it started to engage in a public relations campaign to try and say that it wasn't happy with what the National Security Agency was doing, and was fighting against it. Now, I'm sure that many people in Google are not happy with what has been occurring. But that doesn't stop it happening, because Google's business model is to collect as much information as possible and people store it, index and turn it into predictive profiles. Similarly, at Eric Schmidt's level, Google is very closely related to the U.S. government and there's a revolving door between the State Department and Google . '
For the Pffft factor plus some history of WikiLeaks' betrayal by both Daniel Domscheit-Berg ( his Wiki ), and the Guardian, the Daily Dot's : ' When WikiLeaks cold-called Hillary Clinton',
'Within hours, Harrison's call was answered via State Department backchannels. Lisa Shields, then- Google Executive Eric Schmidt's girlfriend and vice president at the Council on Foreign Relations, reached out through one of WikiLeak's own, Joseph Farrell, to confirm it was indeed WikiLeaks calling to speak with Clinton. [snip]
'But in an act of gross negligence the Guardian newspaper -- our former partner -- had published the confidential decryption password to all 251,000 cables in a chapter heading in its book, rushed out hastily in February 2011.(1) By mid-August we discovered that a former German employee -- whom I had suspended in 2010 -- was cultivating business relationships with a variety of organizations and individuals by shopping around the location of the encrypted file, paired with the password's whereabouts in the book. At the rate the information was spreading, we estimated that within two weeks most intelligence agencies, contractors, and middlemen would have all the cables, but the public would not.'
Background on the Rassmussen story to make sure he was elected head of NATO by shutting down Roj TV: Interview: Roj TV, ECHR and Wikileaks by Naila Bozo
Students Sue Google for Monitoring Their Emails http://mashable.com/2014/03/19/students-sue-google-gmail/
Note: Easy Copying from the Café to the Café didn't go well. Everything doubled up, and not in the same order, and none of the quotation font colors hopped aboard. But it is what it is, and trying to repair it further seems Quixotic.
Jan 11, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
imo , Jan 11 2021 14:17 utc | 119
William Burns is Biden's new CIA Director nomination with with State Dept career and DC Thinktank experience.
Might have better constructive peer-peer dialogue potential with Russian Foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. Now whence little Gina 'Abu Ghraib stinker' Haspel?
But, what about global opium and heroine supplies? Gulp, ...!
Jan 11, 2021 | thesaker.is
Serbian girl on January 08, 2021 , · at 7:42 am EST/EDTKen Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 8:05 am EST/EDT
"So when was this golden age? Under Reagan? Well, this is when the dismantling of the inner core of the empire began."
Beg to differ. Reagan understood how to administer the US empire. He knew the risks of overstretching it. He made the promise to the Soviets not to encroach on their sphere of influence. He defended the high interest rates which strengthened the USD and which kept the banking sector in check.
All of that went to hell with Bill Clinton:
He broke Reagan's promise and expanded NATO eastwards, he dismantled the Glass Steagall act which led to a malignant hypergrowth of the banking sector, and he was the who introduced the telecommunications act in 1996 which allowed for the concentration of corporate media in the hands of the few.
Bill Clinton basically turned the empire into a rapacious and uncontrollable animal. (Funny how noone here is talking about imprisoning him )
There is a silver lining to Bill C's blood-soaked administration. It was while he was in power, that the Russians finally awoke from their 1990s stupor. They began to understand the mortal danger they were facing, and they patriotically chose Putin to lead them in 1999.Serbian girl on January 08, 2021 , · at 9:33 am EST/EDT
– Reagan was a disgusting Russophobe and Serbophobe who proclaimed 10th April (the founding of the Independent State of Croatia) a national holiday in California as governor. Not surprising given that his was the most RC government ever – he also colluded with the Polish anti-Christ to destroy the USSR. In the process he encouraged the German Nazis (see visit to Bitburg) who then destroyed Yugoslavia.
– He brought the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust that was prevented by a vigilant Russian officer (in 1983?).
– He turbo-charged the power of corporations and decimated social structures and the rights of the working class (the Americans are paying for this now).
This is not to say that the scumbag Clinton was good – after all he was trained at Georgetown – that seminary for American murderers.Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 11:07 am EST/EDT
Thanks for this Ken. Good to know who Reagan really was!
To get back to your point about the "dismantling of the empire" Reagan, for all his personal awfulness and recklessness (and subversiveness) was still more restrained than Clinton. Clinton hollowed out his own country in order to completely remove all constraints (financial, mediatic, military). He doesn't get called out for it nearly enough in my opinion. I guess it's personal, after what he did to us.Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 11:49 am EST/EDT
Oh, I have nothing but hatred and contempt for that criminal, trust me.
Clinton was a particular type of low-class, sybaritic evil but he didn't have a strong USSR to contend with. Instead he had the drunken traitor Yeltsin dance for him like a bedraggled starving bear. Never again!
Jan 11, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
LittleWhiteCabbage , Jan 11 2021 15:19 utc | 128
As sometimes said: don't sweat the small stuff.
This "We are all Taiwanese now" stunt is Pompeo's act of petty spite for getting outfoxed in the Hong Kong colour revolution play.
Empire's useful idiots were let loose to trash the hapless city, fired up by the Western propaganda machinery.
Now Beijing is putting the stock on those pompous minions with the National Security Law, and their foreign masters can't do nuffin' except squeal human rights and apply some nuisance sanctions.
The West fails because it looks at China through ideological lenses and sees Communists, who can fall back on 5000 years of statecraft to push back at interlopers.
Beijing's moves can be likened to two classic strategies.
1. Zhuge Liang fools the enemy to fire all their arrows at straw men, which become ammunition against them.
2. The Empty City strategy. Invaders take over an ostensibly abandoned city, only to be trapped inside.
Global Times is cantankerous and sometimes risible, but even a broken clock is right, twice a day.
So when it says that crossing Beijing's red line on the Taiwan issue is not in the island's best interests, the incoming BiMala administration should take note.
Jan 10, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Passer by , Jan 10 2021 23:21 utc | 64
Posted by: Circe | Jan 10 2021 23:07 utc | 61
There you go
Top adviser signals Biden would keep troops in Syria as leverage
Joe Biden hits the president over Syria troop withdrawal in Iowa speech
Biden Says Would Keep Small U.S. Troops Presence In Afghanistan, Iraq
Jan 09, 2021 | www.unz.com
Dutch Boy , says: January 8, 2021 at 8:36 pm GMT • 2.8 hours ago@Priss FactorRufus Clyde , says: January 8, 2021 at 8:43 pm GMT • 2.7 hours ago
The "patriotism" of the previous establishment was bound up with their economic interests. Once the USA dropped protectionism, the allure of cheap foreign labor (via immigration or outsourcing) became too much for them and they abandoned the interests of their fellow Americans to follow the profits.@Richard B
Thanks for the Tralfamidor perspective. Those of us here on earth know that the US was never a democracy and always existed as a mechanism for exploitation of everyone else by an oligarchy.
The USSR was collapsed by traitors as a function of the US imperial drive to destroy them economically, not because the people were enraged at the "hostile elite". The US henchmen in the Kingdom in Riyadh pitched in to break the Soviet economy by destroying the Soviet capacity to obtain foreign exchange.
Jan 08, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Jan 8 2021 12:51 utc | 1You know you reached rock bottom when even Mikhail frickin' Gorbachev takes a jab on you:
Gorbachev, once America's greatest friend in Moscow, believes Capitol invasion calls into question stability of US as a state
Abe , Jan 8 2021 12:58 utc | 2vk @1Den lille abe , Jan 8 2021 13:28 utc | 3
I am always shocked to see he is still alive and not hanging by some lamppost for high treason.@nr2 AbeAbe , Jan 8 2021 13:54 utc | 6
High treason, where, what? Did I miss something then ? I think not. The Soviet Union was doomed,
virtually bankrupt, its population queuing for almost everything, DDR likewise and Poland too, I have seen it in all three places. Oh, you could get everything if you had dollars!
Poland 1975: 1 kg of Russian Caviar and 4 bottles of the best Crimean Champagne :$10 !
Russia: Brand new Makarow, 9 mm, and 100 shots $20 including nice shoulder holster too in leather $30
But ordinary people did not have $, only the nomenclature had $. A totally corrupt and failed system in all the Eastern block. I was there then, saw it, and I have not forgotten.
So it was high time for change, and yes it would be tough, but the eastern people are tough people ( and hospitable, very indeed)so they stood it out.
Abe, take a trip to Russia and speak to some older people, so you may stop posting nonsense!@3 @4oglalla , Jan 8 2021 13:56 utc | 7
Him and his underlings, along with its successor Yeltsin (died too soon, unfortunately) are directly responsible for millions of dead and destroyed lives in Russia in the `90-ties. But I sense you are from countries that now grow unhealthy and pathological hate towards Russian people, so as far you are concerned, it was great period, right?Blame the Soviets for the economy of places ravaged by war and sabotaged by the West? Remember the Eastern Front suffered the majority of action. Russia itself suffered the worst and had to rebuild more than anybody, whereas USA factories easily re-supplied Western Europe.alaff , Jan 8 2021 15:43 utc | 25
Eastern Europeans better guard against being played by the West into fighting Russia again. They allied with Western-financed Hitler the last time. So, I'm a little worried they'll be conned again.It is curious that in one of the articles MoA wrote that, in his opinion (which I share), there are now two superpowers - the United States and Russia, while China is only on the way to this.Kabobyak , Jan 8 2021 15:55 utc | 26
But Chinese journalists think differently - for example, in this article (very controversial, btw) the author asks the question "Russia has the potential to become a superpower, what are the factors preventing it from doing this?" At the same time, apparently, the journalist believes that the current superpowers are China and the United States, while "something prevents" Russia from becoming such.
Just one quote from the article:
The distance between Russia and the superpower is still very large, and not only because of the country's "internal problems" - the United States is also constraining and restraining Russia by all means. It is not easy to become a superpower.Paco @11steven t johnson , Jan 8 2021 15:58 utc | 27
"If you talk to older people in Russia they'll tell you how deeply they despise the "marked one" as they call him."
I know there are multiple perspectives when assessing Gorbachev's legacy, but I also encountered that reaction often during my time there by old and young alike. It was a surprise to me as I had assumed he would be universally accepted in a positive light as he is in the west.
Asking them why they felt that way, a common response was that he had been too trusting of the US promises, which ushered in the looting and manipulation of the 90's. Many mentioned Baker's promise to Gorbachev that if East Germany went to the west, NATO would not move "one inch to the east", and Gorbachev's failure to get that in writing. (Not to say the US would have honored it even then, of course, but at least some proof to show the west's duplicity).vk@8 "The USSR could've reformed and opened up like China did, and would be in a much better situation than what really happened (Yeltsin's neoliberal genocide)."
This is nonsense. That's exactly what Gorbachev did. The relative stagnation of the USSR turned into an economic catastrophe under Gorbachev who dismantled a still-functional economy. Yeltsin's neoliberalism was a continuation of Gorbachev's economics. Yeltsin's revolution was not to impose a new policy but to smash the opposition to the new policy, to carry it out ruthlessly, to concentrate the theft of public property in Great Russian hands. China's opening up was deliberately fostered by the western powers as a way of separating the socialist powers. There was never going to be any such opening up with Europe, not for the USSR. There wasn't in NEP in the Twenties. This absurd counterfactual misreads what happened with the capitalist roaders in China.
There also seems to be some nonsense lurking about how the Cultural Revolution was a gigantic catastrophe. Of course, though no one cares to notice, if this was true, then India would have had all those years to race ahead of China, not being cursed with such a nightmare. In truth, the Cultural Revolution brought many benefits to the countryside in particular, and still progressed the economy as a whole. Then after the murderous Deng took over, there wasn't any magical Great Leap Forward on IOUs to Imperialism as he promised. For years and years, the wonders of reform and opening up delivered not much faster (at all?) than the previous system. Not even the notorious Southern Tour was so miraculous. The failure to deliver on his overblown promises is why the students at Tien An Men square were so worried about getting good jobs commensurate with their higher elite status, reaffirmed by Deng. Only after decades did the economic conjuncture finally lead to rapid growth...but at a tremendous social cost still denied by too many. The iron rice bowl was broken long before the privilege of working for a capitalist firm started to really pay.
Jan 07, 2021 | www.rt.com
Home USA News Victoria 'F**k the EU' Nuland to make a comeback in Biden's cabinet – media 6 Jan, 2021 13:28 / Updated 15 hours ago Get short URL FILE PHOTO. Victoria Nuland during her visit in Kiev, Ukraine. ©Serg Glovny / Global Look Press 81 Follow RT on Joe Biden has reportedly tapped Victoria Nuland, a devoted Russia hawk with a disdain for EU members and a suspected Russiagate peddler, to take the third-highest job in his State Department.
Nuland will be nominated for the position of under secretary of state for political affairs, the US media said on Tuesday with Politico being the first to drop the scoop. It's the highest-ranking post in the department after the secretary and deputy secretary. During the Obama administration, Nuland served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, and was a key official in formulating and implementing his Russia policies. She also served as US envoy to the UN under George W. Bush and advised Vice President Dick Cheney on foreign policy.
The news that the vocal Russia hawk was returning to the White House was understandably met with loud cheering by the fans of Pax American on both sides of the Atlantic. Critics were dismayed and somewhat horrified, considering her record.
Arguably the most publicly known episode of Nuland's Obama tenure came in 2014, when a tape of her conversation with then-ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt was leaked. It happened shortly after Ukraine's democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a wave of street protests culminating in an armed coup, which happened with much encouragement from Washington.
Nuland and Pyatt were discussing who among the coup leaders should be in the upcoming Ukrainian government, which indicated that Washington played a much bigger role in the crisis than it publicly admitted. The infamous " F**k the EU" remark came as Nuland expressed frustration with European nations, who were reluctant to lend legitimacy to the benefactors of the events, and said UN officials could be called in to help "glue this thing" instead.
The EU's skepticism at the time could have been due to the fact that President Yanukovich was expelled under a threat of violence just hours after Germany and Poland helped seal a power sharing agreement between him and the opposition leaders, serving as guarantors of the deal. Her return as a senior diplomatic official is likely to get on a few people's nerves in Europe, which is ironic considering how the Biden administration is supposed to rebuild alliances damaged by the Trump presidency.ALSO ON RT.COM Biden 'should pick OBAMA as AG,' paving the way for him to later ascend to Supreme Court, former White House lawyer says
While flying private in the world of academia and think tanks during the Trump years, Nuland maintained her confrontational attitude to anyone challenging US dominance. Her recipe for dealing with Russia, as outlined in Foreign Policy magazine last summer, is more sophisticated weapons, permanent NATO bases on the Russian border (which will require abolishing a key Russia-NATO agreement) and deniable cyber operations against Moscow.
Nuland also played a peculiar part in US domestic affairs, possibly having a hand in the promotion of the notorious Steele dossier. The collection of opposition research and rumors was used by the FBI to justify surveillance of the Trump campaign and fueled the endless flood of claims that the incumbent president was somehow a Russian stooge.
An FBI memo released last year revealed that Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson "and others were talking to Victoria Nuland at the US State Department" about the file. The firm looked into Donald Trump for the Hillary Clinton campaign and retained retired British intelligence agent Christopher Steele for the job.
In multiple interviews, Nuland insisted that her role with the dossier was very limited because it dealt with domestic politics. "[Steele] passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction to that was, 'This is not in our purview,'" she told CBS News in 2018, adding that she advised him to go to the FBI. Some skeptics believe her role in launching the Steele dossier may have been much more significant.ALSO ON RT.COM Ex-CIA congressman says disputing election results helps America's enemies STEAL ELECTIONS – just what the CIA always did!
Nuland is one of many Obama-era officials tapped by Biden to serve again with him at the helm. In addition to her, the latest reported batch includes Wendy Sherman, the former under secretary of state for political affairs, Jon Finer, who had various roles under Obama, and Amanda Sloat, ex-deputy assistant secretary for Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean affairs.
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Jan 07, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
alaff , Jan 7 2021 0:57 utc | 75@Mao Cheng Ji, #1
People feel attacked, unite, rally around the flag. Internal problems are blamed on the external enemy. The sanctions, the sort the West likes to impose, help develop domestic industries. Etc. Yeah, favors.
So, according to your logic, a hostile or unfriendly policy [towards Russia] will be when the United States abolishes its discriminatory measures (they call them sanctions), withdraws its troops from Europe, agree to North Stream-2, apologize for the coup in Ukraine etc.?
And then Russians will not be able "to justify" their problems with some kind of external enemy?
I did not hear any more absurdity.
Btw, I am from Russia and I don't know of internal problems that the authorities would try to "justify" by some external enemy/threat. In Russia, there are fires, there are cases of corruption of officials, somewhere there is a break in power lines (ice on the wires), in some places there are no necessary medicines in pharmacies, floods occur in summer... - a lot of problems, like in any other country. All these are internal problems. And there has never been such a thing that the Russian authorities said "this is all because of the American sanctions!".
karlof1 , Jan 7 2021 1:14 utc | 78alaff @75--
Yes, as Putin has said, Russia remains a developing nation, and such nations have such problems and need to resolve them as best they can. In many respects, Russia is still recovering from the destruction of WW2 and then the rapine it was subjected to from 1990-2000. Putin and his team know there's much to do. IMO, the new Eurasian Bloc will become far more powerful and vastly improved over the USSR and its Warsaw Pact Bloc. But improvements don't happen instantly, so people need to remain patient. Thanks much for your input!
Jan 06, 2021 | www.rt.com
Do you realize now what you have done? US gets the kind of 'democracy' it championed overseas Nebojsa Malic
is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic 6 Jan, 2021 21:29 Get short URL A protester is seen hanging from the balcony in the Senate Chamber on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC © Win McNamee / Getty Images / AFP 157 1 Follow RT on A crowd of protesters stormed Congress protesting a presidential election they claimed had been fraudulent. When this happened in Serbia in 2000, the US called it democracy. When it happened in Washington, DC – not so much.
Scenes from the US Capitol on Wednesday, as protesters backing President Donald Trump disrupted the joint session of Congress meeting to certify the election of Democrat Joe Biden, looked very much like Belgrade in October 2000 .
The sight was later repeated in Ukraine – twice, in 2004 and 2014 – Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, and several Central Asian former Soviet republics. On every occasion, the US backed the "people power," because American NGOs and embassies were supporting what became known as "color revolutions."ALSO ON RT.COM Trump supporter SHOT during Capitol breach, now in critical condition
Same thing happened in 2011 with the "Arab Spring" that started in Tunisia and then burned its way across North Africa to the Persian Gulf. In some places it "succeeded," overthrowing decades-old governments. In others it failed, setting off wars in Libya and Syria and blood on the streets of Bahrain. Again, the US cheered this on as democracy – except for Bahrain, which hosts a major naval base.
More recently, the US denounced as illegitimate the presidential elections in Belarus, Bolivia and Venezuela. While Minsk and Caracas managed to resist – and got sanctioned for it – the "democrats" in La Paz were successful for a while, but ended up losing the vote last year.ALSO ON RT.COM America masterminded 'color revolutions' around the world. Now the very same techniques are being used at home
Way back in 2004, the Guardian wrote approvingly about how the US has created a "slick" operation of "engineering democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience," developing since Belgrade a "template for winning other people's elections."
Now the same mainstream media that slavishly followed the State Department line in denouncing elections elsewhere as "rigged" and color revolutions as spontaneous democracy are clutching their pearls when Americans who believe their election was stolen take to the streets and storm their Capitol.
Ah, but this election wasn't stolen, they'd say – it was pure as driven snow, "most secure ever," all the experts who told us for four years the previous one was "hacked by Russia" tell us so! And Joe Biden won the most votes in history while hardly leaving his basement. Whether you believe this official narrative about the US election or not doesn't really matter, however. Partisan myopia simply won't let people understand the magnitude of what is on display here: utter moral bankruptcy of the entire US political and media establishment.
Republicans and Democrats alike used "color revolutions" as a political weapon for years, preaching democracy even as their astroturfed coups snuffed out any vestiges of it that might have developed organically. Over the past year, they've done so at home as well, using Covid-19 lockdowns to abolish elementary constitutional rights, culminating with changing the electoral rules to better serve "our democracy," defined as whatever gets them power.
What did they think people would do when all avenues of airing their grievances were closed off? Meekly submit – or take a page out of the same playbook the politicians and the media spent 20 years celebrating?
Don't go "but Trump," either. The supposed Nazi fascist dictator himself ordered National Guard and police to clear out the protesters who sided with him, and protect the establishment that did not. He's a real Hitler, right? No matter, expect the media to paint him as such anyway.
Perhaps the US ought to take a long, hard look at its own house before it continues calling out, sanctioning, regime-changing or bombing other countries over their supposed lack of "democracy." Maybe actually answer the question Russian President Vladimir Putin asked at the UN back in 2015, addressing the consequences of the 'Arab Spring': "Do you realize now what you have done?"
But we all know that's not going to happen, don't we?ALSO ON RT.COM Trump supporters in ARMED STANDOFF with police inside US Capitol as offices evacuated & lawmakers told to don gas masks - reports
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Jan 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao Cheng Ji , Jan 6 2021 18:18 utc | 1
Two years ago we have written about the Trump's relation with Russia:
Putin Asks And Trump Delivers - A List Of All The Good Things Trump Did For Russia
Trump obviously wants better diplomatic relations with Russia. He is reluctant to counter its military might. He is doing his best to make it richer. Just consider the headlines below. With all those good things Trump did for Putin, intense suspicions of Russian influence over him is surely justified.
There followed 34 headlines and links to stories about Trump actions, from closing Russian consulates to U.S. attacks on Russian troops, that were hostile to Russia.
In fact no other U.S. administration since the cold war has been more aggressive towards Russia than Trump's.
But some U.S. media continue to claim that Trump's behavior towards Russia has not been hostile at all. Consider this line in Politico about anti-Russian hawks in the incoming Biden administration:Nuland and Sherman, who entered academia and the think tank world after leaving the Obama administration, have been outspoken critics of President Donald Trump's foreign policy -- particularly his appeasement of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Where please has Trump 'appeased' Vladimir Putin?
Here are a number of headlines which appeared in U.S. media since we published our first list two years ago. Which of the described actions were designed to 'appease' Putin or Russia?
U.S. to withdraw from nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, raising fears of a new arms race - Washington Post, Feb 1 2019
Putin says U.S.-Russia relations are getting 'worse and worse' - Reuters, Jun 13 2019
Green Berets train Polish, Latvian resistance units in West Virginia - Army Times, Jul 8 2019
Trump Adds to Sanctions on Russia Over Skripals - NYT, Aug 1 2019
INF nuclear treaty: US pulls out of Cold War-era pact with Russia - BBC, Aug 2 2019
US Slaps New Sanctions on Russia for 2018 Nerve Agent Attack - Daily Signal, Aug 2 2019
1000 U.S.Troops Are Headed to Poland - National Interest, Sep 29 2019
U.S. sanctions Russians over attempted interference in 2018 elections - CBS News, Sep 30 2019
US formally withdraws from Open Skies Treaty that bolstered European security - CNN, Nov 22 2020
Nord Stream 2: Trump approves sanctions on Russia gas pipeline - BBC, Dec 21 2019
Trump sanctions Rosneft, Russia's largest oil company, for aiding Maduro in Venezuela - MSN, Feb 19 2020
Russia Says New U.S. Weapon Threatens Nuclear War - Newsweek, Mar 7 2020
Trump Continues to Be Exceedingly Tough on Russia - Townhall, Jul 25 2020
U.S.-Russia Military Tensions Intensify in the Air and on the Ground Worldwide - NYT, Sep 1 2020
White House rejects Putin's proposal to extend last U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty - LA Times, Oct 16 2020
U.S., Russian Navies Involved In Brief Confrontation At Sea - NPR, Nov 24 2020
US sanctions NATO ally Turkey over Russian missile defense - AP, Dec 14 2020
Pompeo accuses Russia of sowing 'chaos' in the Mediterranean - Rawstory, Dec 15 2020
Exclusive: U.S. preparing new sanctions to impede Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline - Reuters, Dec 23 2020
As we have written before :When one adds up all those actions one can only find that Trump cares more about Russia, than about the U.S. and its NATO allies. Only with Trump being under Putin's influence, knowingly or unwittingly, could he end up doing Russia so many favors.Posted by b at 18:01 UTC | Comments (3)
Why, you certainly could view most (if not all) of those actions as favors.
People feel attacked, unite, rally around the flag. Internal problems are blamed on the external enemy. The sanctions, the sort the West likes to impose, help develop domestic industries. Etc. Yeah, favors.
arby , Jan 6 2021 18:24 utc | 2Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 18:43 utc | 3
n one of the comments that I read yesterday some Russian told another one who is sanctioned by the US that that is a badge of honour.Abe , Jan 6 2021 18:51 utc | 4
Point on! Trump was never 'the Russians' bitch'. He was the whore of the Russian émigré mafia that had relocated to the US in south Queens in New York City. A major difference!
Well, the logic is to destroy or ad least severely weaken Russia. Yet damn Russia is getting stronger and stronger, hence what ever happened under Trump's watch must have been a favor to Russia.
Competent government would look itself in the mirror and admit it is their own fault and stupidity, but that ship sailed long time ago for US.
Jan 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 18:43 utc | 3
Point on! Trump was never 'the Russians' bitch'. He was the whore of the Russian émigrés mafia that had relocated to the US in south Queens in New York City. A major difference!
Jen , Jan 6 2021 20:01 utc | 17uncle tungsten , Jan 6 2021 20:25 utc | 21
Of course the whole point of US and Western MSM obsession with demonising Russia and China, and castigating those like Trump (for not going far enough to oppose either one or the other nation, or both), is to divert public attention away from govt failings at home and to push the public into supporting regime change against both Russia and China.
B's post should be read as a companion piece to his previous post on China as an existential threat to the US, as an example of a nation that achieved stability, peace and enough prosperity for most of its people by pursuing an alternate political and economic ideology in the space of 40 years. An ideology that moreover challenges the ideology that the West has followed for the past 500 years, and the assumptions on which that ideology is based. Despite Western attempts to destabilise, break up and impoverish Russia in the 1990s, in order to steal its energy and mineral resources, that nation managed to bounce back to some level of stability and economic security. In addition Russia and China signed a friendship treaty in 2001 and are committing to a closer political ans economic relationship.
All this serves to marginalise the Anglosphere nations and to deny the US, the UK and their elites the opportunity to plunder these nations and their allies for their natural resources.Jackrabbit , Jan 6 2021 20:28 utc | 23
Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 #3Point on! Trump was never 'the Russians' bitch'. He was the whore of the russian emigrée mafia that had relocatet to the US in south Quens in New York City. A maijor difference!
Exactly that, thank you. The mafia that manages the D party are of Mediterranean roots and are totally pi$$ed of with the Russians.
Enough of this polite avoidance of the reality of the USAi gangland - it is a mafia state. The D 'reformist' squad just blew their best chance to start the reformation. They will be neutered well before another chance arises.
Trump appeased . . . NOT is only half the story.
AFAICT Russiagate's neo-McCarthyism and Trump's supposed friendliness toward Putin was a set up prior to Trump negotiations with Putin at Helsinki.
"I'm your only friend ... and your last best hope ..." is a powerful pitch - especially when it is accompanied by generous offers of aid and support. And perhaps it would've worked if it had come years before.
So now we have a new Cold War - with both Russia and China.
Jan 06, 2021 | news.antiwar.com
Victoria Nuland, wife of neoconservative Robert Kagan, is expected be nominated for under secretary of state for political affairs
According to a report from Politico , Joe Biden's transition team is expected to nominate Victoria Nuland to be the under secretary of state for political affairs for the incoming administration's State Department.
Nuland, who is married to neoconservative Robert Kagan, is known for her role in orchestrating the 2014 coup in Ukraine while she was the assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs in the Obama administration.
A recording of a phone call between Nuland and then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt was leaked and released on YouTube on February 4th, 2014 . In the call, Nuland and Pyatt discussed who should replace the government of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was forced to step down on February 22nd, 2014.
The US-backed coup sparked the war in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region and led to the Russian annexation of Crimea. Both regions have a majority ethnic-Russian population who rejected the nationalist, anti-Russian post-coup government that even had neo-Nazis in its midst .
In a 2020 column for Foreign Affairs titled, "Pinning Down Putin," Nuland said Russian President Vladimir Putin "seized" on the 2014 coup and other "democratic struggles" to "fuel the perception at home of Russian interests under siege by external enemies." She also cited the war in the Donbas and annexation of Crimea as examples of Russian aggression, as most in Washington do.
Currently, Nuland is a fellow at the Brookings Institution and works for the Albright Stonebridge Group. She is also a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy , a US-taxpayer funded nonprofit that funds "pro-democracy" movements across the world.
Nuland worked in the Bush administration from 2005 to 2008 as the US ambassador to NATO. From 2011 to 2013, she served as the spokesperson for Barack Obama's State Department, and from 2013 to 2017, Nuland was the assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs.
Politico also reported that the Biden administration is tapping Wendy Sherman to work directly under Secretary of State-designee Anthony Blinken. Sherman worked in the Obama administration's State Department and played a crucial role in negotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Jan 06, 2021 | www.newsmax.com
Ex-AG Barr Reportedly Met With Jeffrey Epstein's Last Cellmate Attorney General William Barr speaks at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention Feb. 26, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
By Charlie McCarthy | Tuesday, 05 January 2021 07:06 PM
Short URL | Email Article | Comment | Contact | Print | A A
Former Attorney General William Barr investigated the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, reportedly even meeting with the multimillionaire sex offender's last cellmate.
Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan early on Aug. 10, 2019. Efrain "Stone" Reyes had shared the cell with Epstein until being transferred a day before the suicide.
Epstein's death rattled the highest levels of the Justice Department, according to the New York Daily News on Monday.
Following Epstein's death, Reyes was pulled from a privately run jail in Queens to meet frequently with authorities, once with the attorney general himself.
"Barr wanted to know about what was going on in [the Metropolitan Correctional Center]," a source told the Daily News. "Barr told him, 'I owe you a favor, thank you for telling us the truth.'
"He said [Barr] was a good guy. Barr was nice about it. He just wanted to know if [inmates] were being mistreated. What [Reyes] believed happened. Just basically that. He told them everything. He cooperated with Barr."
The Daily News source said he befriended Reyes when both were being held at the Queens jail, per the Daily Mail .
A Justice Department spokesman declined comment to the Daily News.
The New York Times reported previously that a "livid" Barr was personally overseeing four inquiries into Epstein's suicide.
Reyes caught coronavirus at the Queens Detention Facility earlier this year, was released in April and died last month. He was 51.
The source said he and Reyes watched a documentary about Epstein, who associated with some of the world's most powerful men while allegedly running an international child sex trafficking scheme.
"[Reyes] was like, 'I just didn't see that from him. I didn't see that side of him. I never pictured him being with young girls. Some guys like that are creepy,'" the source recalled. "He said he never really got that side of Epstein -- like he was someone who took advantage of girls. But we all have our secrets, you know? You never know."
Jan 06, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Politico reports Tuesday that President-elect Joe Biden is tapping former senior Obama administration foreign affairs officials to serve in his cabinet.
Most notably among them is neocon Victoria Nuland, who has just been tapped as Biden's state department undersecretary for political affairs .Victoria Nuland greets then Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, via AP.
Writes Politico : "Another veteran diplomat, Victoria Nuland, will be nominated for the role of under secretary of State for political affairs, one of the people said. Nuland also previously served in the Obama administration, as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs."
Recall that in this capacity she ran point for Obama's
regime change"democracy promotion" efforts in Ukraine . In 2014 leaked audio clip posted to YouTube caused deep embarrassment for the State Department amid accusations the US was coordinating coup efforts using the ongoing "Maidan Revolution" to oust then President Viktor Yanukovych.
In that leaked phone call Nuland told US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt "F*ck the EU" - for which she was later forced to apologize. Here's some of the audio for a little trip down memory lane.
She had also been instrumental in her prior postings at the State Department in Obama's disastrous Libya intervention . After the Obama administration she's been part of various think tanks, including the hawkish Brookings Institution, where she's been a fierce critic of Trump's supposed "appeasement" of Putin. She's also argued for deeper military intervention in Syria .
Politico in its description of the incoming Obama-era officials underscores they are hawks on Russia :
Nuland and [Wendy] Sherman, who entered academia and the think tank world after leaving the Obama administration, have been outspoken critics of President Donald Trump's foreign policy -- particularly his appeasement of Russian President Vladimir Putin .
On the National Security Council, former State Department official Jon Finer will be named deputy national security adviser, the people said, reporting up to incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Finer, a former journalist, joined the Obama White House as a fellow in 2009 and served in various roles throughout Obama's tenure, including as a foreign policy speechwriter for Biden and a senior adviser to then-deputy national security adviser Blinken. Finer had been working in political risk and public policy at the private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which was co-founded by Blinken's father, since leaving government in 2017.
The key NSC role of senior director for European Affairs will go to Amanda Sloat, a Brookings Institution fellow ...
And then there's this...
As is the unfortunate norm in the Washington beltway, the Liberal hawks under Obama simply went to who's who of neocon think tanks like Brookings, and have now been called back in revolving door fashion for pretty much a return to Obama era foreign policy (and its disasters ).
Jan 06, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Democrycy 7 hours agorussian_troll_farm 7 hours ago
You could not make this up...
BREAKING: Biden to nominate Victoria Nuland as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs.
https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1346542671339409408buff24seven 6 hours ago
F the EU NulandThePub'Lick_Hare 5 hours ago
the same Victoria Nuland that said Obama State Dept. informed FBI of reporting from Steele dossier. wow you cant make this stuff up.Mentaliusanything 1 hour ago
Not the "Cookie Monster" surely!
You wait for Hillary to be called up... and the Gangs all here.
What Idiot said there is no Honor amongst thieves
Jan 04, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Bluedotterel , Jan 4 2021 6:04 utc | 78
Posted by: Lemming | Jan 4 2021 5:47 utc | 77
The current term "globalization" was originated by Ted Levitt in an article in the Harvard Business Review in the 80s and taken up by the Reaganites to push for offshoring of factories to countries with fewer workers rights and environmental concerns. He edited the magazine and was a professor at Harvard Business School. Those "weirdos" who championed the term were the corporate and financial behemoths that preferred it as a euphemism for "economic imperialism"
Lemming , Jan 4 2021 5:47 utc | 77Formerly T-Bear , Jan 4 2021 7:47 utc | 96
Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 4 2021 1:07 utc | 56Our nation, right now, is on the cusp of a great earthquake which will change its arrangement so that the interior will not be beholden to the coastal elites much longer, who have themselves thrown off the mantle of nationhood in favor of the globalist paradigm which values nihilistic individualism over all.
So, in short, you're describing capitalism. A capitalist economy favors individualism, profits over morality, and is mostly centered around the idea of private property as described by John Locke. This worked wonders in the vast uncharted territories of America in the 18th and 19th century, when the population of the United States was below 20 million and they needed to compete, FAST, against agressive european civilizations who looked at them with envy.
Now that they are 332 millions and counting, that their natural resources are slowly depleting and that other civilizations have adapted to the previously unknown phenomenon of the American empire, USans are faced with a crisis in all sectors, including faith. How come a system that worked so well for you these past 300 years suddenly fails? well, not suddenly, but realizing that took a while.
Oh, I know!! It must be because of all those treacherous businessmen who traded their souls and their country for a quick buck! but we need to condemn them without condemning the whole system, and saying "capitalism sucks" makes us sound like Ivan the Red Commie. What a pickle. Let's call them "globalists"! so we can rally the nationalists as a bonus and say it's all because of evil foreigners.
On certain sites, it goes as far as calling "globalists" ... communists. Or Chinese. Or Russian. Sure, why not, everyone needs their Emmanuel Goldstein.
"Globalism" is a funny name some weirdos invented since the first Wall Street crashes happened to justify the worst excesses of the current capitalist economic system without pointing the finger at the real culprits. I say it's funny because it looks like nationalist clickbait for the 2 minutes of hate everyone in the West is prescribed each day in this hyper-social Internet.
Sad fact is, "globalists" are run-of-the-mill bosses who decided it was better for their end-of-year bonuses if they outsourced some or all of their production to cheap chinese companies, and not have to pay US salaries anymore. That's not globalist, that's called looking to make a profit in the short term.Fnord13 , Jan 4 2021 8:44 utc | 100
@ NemesisCalling | Jan 4 2021 6:34 utc | 82
Tell me a better term than "globalist" for nationals who are titans of industry who betray their fellow nationals in the labor force by looking outside their own nation?
A term of rather recent vintage is Labour arbitrage that is substituting less costly labour for higher costing labour. The driving motive for all offshoring or externalising labour resources from the home marketplace. Walmart made billions doing this as does Amazon.
@82 and @98 Nemesis Calling and Lemming
I agree with Lemming's position on this. And I think Nemesis Calling is wrong about what the term "Globalist" implies. If a "nationalist" is someone who's loyal to a nation, then isn't a "globalist" someone who is loyal to the whole globe? Humanity today has many massive problems that are extremely difficult and perhaps impossible to deal with on a purely national basis. Nuclear weapons, global climate change, pandemic diseases, the potential threats and benefits of real artificial intelligence, the extinction of so many species, controlling multinational corporations, the threat of mass starvation, global inequality... these are all problems which seem to many people to need the whole human species, or the whole globe, working together to address them.
I think the major reason why many capitalists started calling themselves "globalists" back in the 1980's was because they saw this was an idea which was becoming increasingly popular, and they wanted to try and coopt it for their own benefit.
The trouble was that the CEO's who decided it would be personally profitable for them to ship their companies jobs to low wage countries were not "real" globalists. If they had really understood what the decisions they were making would do to their countries, or even to the corporations they were responsible to their shareholders for managing, they might be accused of being frauds or even traitors. But they probably didn't understand, so it's probably more accurate to just call them parts of a greedy and shortsighted elite, which was far too arrogant to realize how countries like China would be able to exploit their shortsighted folly. They thought they were being so clever about their plans to exploit the Chinese. But the irony is that a major reason why they underestimated the Chinese is that they didn't understand that the fact that the Chinese were Marxists meant that the Chinese had a different and in some ways better understanding of how Capitalism worked than they did. They never dreamed that the Chinese would be able to make Lenin's prediction that capitalists would sell them the rope they needed to hang capitalism come true.
Jan 04, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
"Obama Official Ben Rhodes Admits Biden Camp is Already Working With Foreign Leaders: Exactly What Flynn Did" [ Glenn Greenwald ]. "Any doubts about how customary it is for such calls to be made by transition officials were unintentionally obliterated on Monday night by former Obama national security official Ben Rhodes, who is almost certain to occupy a high-level national security position in a Biden administration. Speaking on MSNBC -- of course -- Rhodes, while amicably chatting with former Bush/Cheney Communications Director turned-beloved-by-liberals-MSNBC-host Nicolle Wallace, admitted in passing that ' ,' all to ensure 'as seamless a transition as possible,' adding: 'the center of political gravity in this country and the world is shifting to Joe Biden.'" • Presumably the FBI should be interrogating Rhodes about his guilty knowledge. Anyhoo, I'm so old I remember when IOKIYAR was current in the blogosphere: "It's OK If You're A Republican." But now IOKIIOG: "It's OK If It's Our Guy."
Billpreston , November 10, 2020 at 2:20 pm
Logan Act? What Logan Act?
Obama Security Adviser Admits Biden Is Already Talking With Foreign Leaders; A Breach Of The Logan Act
zagonostra , November 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm
>David Sirota – "That was enough to barely defeat Trump.."
I'm getting confused, was Trump officially defeated. If not why are all these folks making these kinds of statements without any qualifications, none, zip. He could have said "most likely" or some other qualifier. Am I missing something here? Let the legal process of contesting the election play out for Pete's sake.
ex-PFC Chuck , November 10, 2020 at 7:42 pm
In the words of the late, great Yogi Berra, "It ain't over til it's over."
Jan 03, 2021 | nationalinterest.org
Under Barack Obama, the containment of China -- the "pivot to Asia" -- took the form of what might be called trilateralism, after the old Trilateral Commission of the 1970s. According to this strategy, while balancing China militarily, the United States would create trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trade blocs with rules favorable to the United States that China would be forced to beg to join in the future. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was intended as an anti-Chinese, American-dominated Pacific trade bloc, while the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) sought to create a NATO for trade from which China would be excluded.
Obama's grand strategy collapsed even before the election of 2016. TTIP died, chiefly because of hostility from European economic interests. In the United States, the fact that the TPP treaty was little more than a wish-list of giveaways to U.S. finance and pharma interests and other special-interest lobbies made it so unpopular that both Hillary Clinton and Trump renounced it during the 2016 presidential election season.
Trump, like Obama, sought to contain China , but by unilateral rather than trilateral measures. The Trump administration emphasized reshoring strategic supply chains like that of steel in the United States, unwilling to offshore critical supplies even to allies in Asia and Europe and North America. This break with prior tradition would have been difficult to pull off even under a popular president who was a good bureaucratic operator, unlike the erratic and inconsistent Trump.
The Biden administration, staffed with Obama veterans , may be in effect a third Obama term. Biden may seek a détente with China on some issues. But Democratic foreign policy elites as well as Republicans view China more harshly than they did four years ago. The most likely scenario, then, is an attempt to restore Obama's trilateral strategy of building the biggest possible coalition of allies against China.
An emphasis by the Biden administration on alliances may succeed in the case of the U.S.-Japan-Australia-India "Quad" (Quadrilateral alliance). The UK may support America's East Asian policy as well. But Germany and France, the dominant powers in Europe, view China as a vast market, not a threat, so Biden will fail if he seeks to repeat Obama's grand strategy of trilateral containment of China.
Democratic foreign policy elites are much more Europhile and Russophobic than their Republican counterparts. In part this is a projection of domestic politics. In the demonology of the Democratic Party, Putin stands for nationalism, social conservatism, and everything that elite Democrats despise about the "deplorables" in the United States who live outside of major metro areas and vote for Republicans. The irrational hostility of America's Democratic establishment extends beyond Russia to socially-conservative democratic governments in Poland and Hungary, two countries that Biden has denounced as "totalitarian."
In the Middle East, unlike Eastern Europe, a Biden administration is likely to sacrifice left-liberal ideology to the project of maximizing American power and consolidating the U.S. military presence, with the help of autocracies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Any hint of retrenchment will be denounced by the bipartisan foreign policy establishment that lined up behind Biden, so do not expect an end to any of the forever wars under Biden. Quite the contrary.
Michael Lind is Professor of Practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The American Way of Strategy. His most recent book is The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite.
Jan 03, 2021 | www.rt.com
After pushing phony stories of 'Russian interference' and working for an agency that interferes in elections, ex-CIA agent now Congressman Will Hurd thinks the GOP should accept Joe Biden's win, or risk helping the US' "enemies."
A dozen Republican Senators are getting set to object to the Electoral College's certification of Joe Biden's win in November, unless an "emergency 10-day audit" is held in a number of key swing states won by Biden. The move is also backed by a number of Republican representatives in the House.
However, there's a rival faction of Republicans who want to put allegations of Democrat fraud behind them and go back to business as usual under a Biden administration. Outgoing Texas Rep. Will Hurd is one of them, and he made a novel argument against questioning the election on Saturday.
"When I was undercover at the CIA, I saw firsthand how our enemies steal elections and try to interfere in ours," he tweeted. "Elected officials continuing to sow doubt amongst the public for petty political gain is playing into our enemies' hands."
As for who these "enemies" are, Hurd was presumably referring to the reliable old specter of "the Russians." Throughout Trump's four years in office, Hurd has repeatedly claimed that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election, despite there literally being zero proof for these claims.
" This is honestly one of the most hilarious mega-viral tweets I've ever seen on Twitter," journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted. In a follow-up tweet, Greenwald joked that Hurd "must have been in a different part of the CIA" than former Director James Woolsey, who told Fox News' Laura Ingraham in 2018 that his agency had meddled in European elections during the Cold War "in order to avoid the Communists taking over," and continues to dabble in election meddling, but "only for a very good cause.
Hurd was mocked on all sides. First for condemning election interference from an agency famed for interfering in elections
... ... ...
And then for bragging about his undercover status...
Sep 17, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press
Twenty years ago, I was covering the Munich Security Forum as a journalist and I took an interview from Brent Scawcroft, National Security Adviser for President Bush (the father). I believe he was one of the men who played a huge role in pushing Boris Yeltsin to the crisis which culminated into the bombing of the Russian parliament in October 1993, thus opening the way to the biggest looting in the history of mankind, the so-called Russian privatisations. I asked Scawcroft what the US policy towards Russia and China should be . He answered: “We need to have better relations with Moscow and Beijing, than they can have between themselves”.
The way for the Empire to dominate in the Eastern Mediterranean, imposing its pax or pushing for war, is by having better relations with Athens and Ankara than they can have between themselves. Now they don’t have any at all.Maidan Square, Kiev, 2014
The plane carrying the three EU Foreign Ministers, the French, the German and the Polish, had just taken off from Kiev when the agreement they had negotiated for a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Ukrainian crisis collapsed and the carnage began in the Ukrainian capital. This was followed by the civil war and the unimaginable destruction of European-Russian relations.
The Ukrainian coup was a huge blow to Russia and the Ukraine, which is now in an extremely miserable state, a harbinger of Nazi militias and mafia groups, but also, indirectly, to Europe, which, destroying its relations with Russia at the behest of the Americans, is not only ridiculed, but has deprived itself of the possibility of an independent policy, an achievement which it is now going to ‘complete’ with the Navalny affair, if it leads to the cancelling of the strategic pipeline project NordStream II.
‘Fuck the EU’ was not only a phrase from Neocon Assistant Secretary of State Nuland to Ambassador Pyatt (then in Kiev, now in Athens); it was in reality one of the main purposes of the Maidan operation, that is the inauguration chapter of the new Cold War. Some weeks ago, Mike Pompeo repeated the Nuland coup, by using his influence on the Greek FM Dendias and on the Egyptian dictator Sissi to blow up the moratorium between Greece and Turkey the German chancellor Merkel had negotiated. ‘Fuck Germany and its moratoriums’!The Coming War
The destruction of the Ukraine, Ukrainian-Russian and European-Russian relations was a very big step in the direction of preparing for world war against Russia and China. This is the central plan that defines many of the individual crises and episodes around the globe; and if one does not understand this, one cannot understand anything. As for Trump’s friendship with Russia, we are afraid that it is of no more value than Hitler’s friendship with Stalin or the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact.
The war with China and Russia is the main project of the extremist, radical wing of the Western capitalist establishment. But such a war cannot happen easily and it will not take a frontal form as WWI and WWII, because of the existence of nuclear weapons. But it will take all other possible forms.
Imagine for a while that Pompeo and Netanyahu were able to ignite the huge conflict with Iran which they have been trying to do for years. The wider Middle East would become a land of ruins, and on top of that we would have also the corona crisis. It would be the end for the Chinese project One belt One road and a very promising beginning for Trump’s programme of “decoupling” from China. The same could happen if we go to a Greek-Turkish war, the most probable result of which is enormous destruction in both states and also in Cyprus. Given the destructive capacity of the Greek and Turkish weapons and the impossibility of destroying them by a surprise first strike, the two countries, if they go to war, risk going back two or three hundred years. A conflict around Iran, or between Greece and Turkey would also put enormous pressure on Russia.
Spreading Chaos is another way of staging world war when you cannot use ‘normal’, ‘frontal’ methods of war. The policy of Trump and his allies contributes greatly to preparing for world war by attacking the very institutions of bourgeois democracy, any kind of national or international rule, by attacking the very principles of Logic, Logos and Science, necessary in order to transform human societies into herds of wild animals, in a sui generis repetition of the Nazi experiment.
You cannot wage war on Russia or China by any form of ‘liberal capitalism’. To wage such a huge war you need a totalitarian regime in the West, and this is the real programme, the historic mission of Trump, Pompeo, Thiel, Netanyahu etc.
The way to get Greece and Turkey to war is by sending them ‘false signals’, either encouraging and supporting them, or implying a threat from the other country. Somebody was able to persuade Ankara to down the Russian jet in 2015, which was a case of extreme miscalculation. It is easier to make a miscalculation regarding Greece and Turkey, and there is an enormity of contradictory signals emanating from the US and Israel towards the two capitals.
For example, a very strange article in the Foreign Affairs magazine states that the red line behind which Ankara will not be permitted to go is south of Crete. This red light is indirectly a green light for Turkey to go to the east or south-east of Crete. If Turkey sends its ships there the Greek government will be under tremendous pressure from both public opinion and the Armed Forces to react. This is not something Foreign Affairs can ignore, making us wonder if in fact some people want a war between Greece and Turkey to overthrow Erdogan, to weaken Turkey for decades, to attack Chinese projects and the EU. We could multiply such examples, including Trump’s encouragement of Erdogan. Insofar as the Turkish President does not want to go to a full rupture with the West, he is better prepared to accept as genuine any encouraging signals from Washington. But they can be a trap, as happened for example with Milosevich or Sadam.Russia, NATO and a Greek-Turkish war
The other day a friend told me that a conflict between Greece and Turkey would only harm NATO: only the Russians would benefit, so it could not happen.
I replied that he was wrong. ‘If you are preparing for a world war, you do not even care so much about NATO. Instead you have to tear down all the institutions of bourgoies society and of the liberal capitalist order, including the EU, maybe even NATO itself, because they are not really made for such a war. They are certainly made to contain Russia, but not to play Russian roulette with the very existence of the world. A world war will not be decided by a Senate, no matter how oligarchic it will be. For such decisions you need Nero, Caligula, Heliogabalus. Such are Trump, Bolsonaro, Pompeo, Netanyahu and those behind them.
They would certainly prefer a Russia-Turkey conflict and have already tried to provoke it. But it is not easy.
A conflict with Greece is their second best alternative, because Greece has the means to destroy Turkey by destroying itself. A war between the two countries will destroy them and would set them back 200 or 300 years.
It is doubtful, after all, that Russia would benefit from such a development, even if it would be a blow to NATO. First, because Moscow would see the destruction of Hellenism, the main strategic ally of Russia in the Mediterranean for a thousand years. Governments and regimes can change, but losing a nation is another matter.
Second, Moscow will likely see, as a result of a war, a pro-Western dictatorship set up in Ankara. Having contributed to the destruction of a historic country like Greece, Turkey would not have the slightest future. It would be considered the outcast of all civilised nations, like Germany after World War II.
And of course, the big victims of the war will be China, with the One Belt, One Road plans and Europe itself.
This is the Chaos Strategy. It remains to be seen whether her opponents also have a strategy or not.
PS. The above article provides a possible explanation of the present Greek-Turkish crisis. A second explanation is that big oil multinationals want to provoke a crisis in order to exploit the hydrocarbons of the region, but we have no serious indications that big reserves really exist and are exploitable economically. A third explanation, not mutually excluded from what we have analyzed, is that third forces are trying to provoke a war in order to overthrow Erdogan and also have all the other consequences we described.
International consequences of a Greek – Turkish war. A way to avert itAlso read
Jan 02, 2021 | turcopolier.typepad.com
HARPER: THE LESSONS OF STALINGRAD BY STEVE DOUGLAS
After hearing a lecture by my friend Steve Douglas on the lessons of the battle of Stalingrad, I urged him to write this essay on the topic. Given the current toxic relationship between the United States and Russia--the two predominant thermonuclear-armed states--it is a useful reminder of a crisis moment in world history when the U.S. and Russia were allies against a great common threat. it primarily serves as an invaluable lesson in the role of the subjective factors and leadership in warfare.
STALINGRAD: A LESSON IN THE PRIMACY OF THE SUBJECTIVE IN WAR
November 19, 2020 marked the 78th anniversary of the strategic counteroffensive that the Soviet Red Army launched against the German Wehrmacht at Stalingrad in World War II. The vast, surprise double-pincered armored envelopment that the Soviets launched that day---from apparently out of nowhere---sealed the fate of the German Army in Russia. It was arguably the turning point of the entire war.
Stalingrad was the biggest battle in the most destructive war in the history of mankind. Soviet casualties in the battle that raged between August 23, 1942 and the surrender of Field Marshal Paulus's 6th Army on February 2, 1943 numbered 1,129,619, including 478,741 personnel killed or missing. That is, the Soviets suffered more dead and wounded in the Battle of Stalingrad, than the U.S. Armed Forces suffered on all fields of battle combined during the entirety of World War II! (982,800 total casualties, including 416,800 killed or missing).
By the time that the Soviets unleashed their November 19th counteroffensive, the badly battered 62nd Army of General Chuikov, which was the principal Soviet military formation in the meager thousands of square meters that remained of Soviet-controlled Stalingrad, numbered only about 6000 men. What had once been a full-sized army of over 100,000 soldiers, had been reduced in size to less than half of an undersized division! And it was facing round-the-clock assaults from the elite formations of Paulus's 6th Army and the German Luftwaffe that were more than 30 times its size, with seemingly infinitely greater firepower.
What sustained the Soviet soldiers in the face of these indescribable, almost unimaginable horrors? What enabled them to triumph against such overwhelming odds? Insofar as the imperial arrogance of the members of today's anti-Russia lobby ominously echoes the anti-Soviet arrogance of German political and military strategists in Hitler's time, they would be well-advised to consider the answers to these questions, before proceeding any further with their dangerous, ill-considered provocations.
The Leadership Question
The Show Trial purge process which Stalin conducted against the Soviet military from 1937-1939 had virtually decapitated the Red Army. Approximately 50% of the officer corps, including 3 out of 5 marshals, 13 out of 15 army group commanders, 57 out of 85 corps commanders, and 110 out of 195 division commanders were executed, imprisoned, or "discharged" in the purge. Only the ascendancy of General Zhukov and the arrival of Arctic-like temperatures and snowfall in November 1941 stopped the German Army from taking Moscow.
While the limited success which the Soviets experienced in some winter engagements against the Germans prompted some expressions of misguided optimism in high level Soviet government circles, those naïve hopes were shattered by the disaster that the Soviets suffered at the 2nd Battle of Kharkov. The sixteen-day battle which ended on May 28, 1942 resulted in 171,00 dead, missing, or captured Red Army troops, and opened the door for the German advance deep into southwest Russia. Soviet losses were compounded by the loss of another 118,00 soldiers when the garrison at Sevastopol in Crimea surrendered to the German 11th Army of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein on July 4, 1942.
So, when the city of Rostov on the Don River fell to the Germans with hardly a fight on July 23rd, Stalin acted decisively to alter the dynamic of defeat and despair. On July 28,1942 Stalin issued his famous Order 227---the "Ni Shagu Nazad!" Order---the "Not a Step Back!" Order. In it, he declared: "Every commander, soldier, and political worker must understand that our resources are not unlimited To retreat further would mean the ruin of the country and ourselves. Every new scrap of territory we lose will significantly strengthen the enemy and severely weaken our defense of our Motherland 'Not a Step Back!' this must now be our chief slogan. We must defend to the last drop of blood every position, every meter of Soviet territory, to cling on to every shred of Soviet earth and defend it to the utmost." (pp. 41-42. Stalingrad -- How the Red Army Triumphed , by Michael K. Jones--2007, Pen & Sword Books LTD, Great Britain).
Stalin coupled his Order 227 with a number of initiatives that were designed to awaken and unleash the powerful spiritual, patriotic impulses which had resided deep in the souls of Russian subjects for centuries, long before the birth of Karl Marx or the Bolshevik Revolution. He had come to recognize that Communist sloganeering was simply not sufficient to mobilize the people or the soldiers of the Soviet Union for victory.
- On July 29, 1942, Stalin established the Order of Kutuzov Award, to be presented to those officers who conducted effective counterattacks and performed heroically against overwhelming odds on the battlefield. Mikhail Kutuzov had been appointed by Tsar Alexander I on August 29, 1812 to replace Barclay de Tolly as head of the Russian Army and was charged with the mission of defeating Napoleon's invading French forces. While Kutuzov did not defeat Napoleon at the Battle of Borodino on Sept. 7, 1812, he inflicted sufficient damage on the French, that he helped to create the preconditions for Napoleon's disastrous retreat from Moscow that winter.
- Also, on July 29, 1942, Stalin established the Order of Suvorov Award, named after a Russian Field Marshal, who had famously served Empress Catherine the Great before his death in 1800. 48 Soviet generals were ultimately awarded the Order of Kutuzov or Suvorov medal during World War II. It should be noted that the masterminds of the Stalingrad counteroffensive, Generals Zhukov and Vasilevsky, were the first and second recipients of the Order of Suvorov First Class medal. As Stalin declared in an appeal to the troops on Sept. 6, 1942, "The Russians have always defeated the Prussians. The military tradition of the Russian people lives on in the heroic deeds of Soviet fighting men." (pg. 433. Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East. Earl F. Ziemke and Magna E. Bauer)
- In late August 1942, with great pomp and fanfare, Stalin convened meetings in Moscow with the leaders of the partisan movement, which was estimated to have at least 100,000 irregular warfare combatants at that time. By naming Marshal Voroshilov commander in chief of the partisan movement, Stalin, in effect, accorded it the status of a distinct branch of the Soviet Armed Forces.
- Stalin elevated the status of the officer corps of the armed forces in Soviet society with several noteworthy initiatives. The designation of "officer", which had been banned from all military vocabulary since the Bolshevik Revolution and replaced by the socialistically politically correct term "commander," was reincorporated into Soviet military life in August. And, more spectacularly, on Oct. 9, 1942, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet abolished the political commissar system, which, since the days of the Bolshevik Revolution, had been invested with absolute veto power over the decision-making processes of any and all military officers. The same Stalin who had decimated the Soviet military leadership with his murderous purges in the 1930's, was professing his full trust in the independent, professional judgment of the military leadership in 1942.
- In August, Stalin promoted General Zhukov to the rank of Deputy Supreme Commander of the Soviet Armed Forces, making Zhukov second only to himself in leadership responsibility for the Soviet military. In October, Stalin promoted the Chief of the General Staff General Alexander Vasilevsky to Deputy Minister of Defense. Together, Zhukov and Vasilevsky acted as a team, overseeing all aspects of the battlefield conflict with the Germans. They reported directly to Stalin, as his two primary plenipotentiaries.
Birth of a Plan and Advent of General Chuikov
On September 12 Zhukov and Vasilevsky spoke with Stalin about the prospects for a strategic encirclement of Paulus's 6th Army, to change the complexion of the war altogether. Stalin was intrigued with the idea and dispatched them to Stalingrad to investigate the feasibility of it. He expressly admonished them, that they were to discuss this idea with absolutely no one but himself. They returned to Moscow on September 27th and presented him with a detailed report on their plan, affirming its viability. After some minor alterations, he signed off on it the next day.
The date for the surprise attack was set for November 9th. The commanders of the three Soviet Fronts (army groups) in the Stalingrad region were not to be informed of the plan until mid-October at the earliest. And they, in turn, were not to inform their own command staffs of the plans until November1st! These strictures would give the Front commanders and their staffs little time to prepare for the counteroffensive But secrecy was of the highest priority.
Zhukov's and Vasilevsky's plan was premised on the assumption that the beleaguered troops of the Soviet 62nd Army could continue to conduct such a deadly and effective defense against the Germans, that the 6th Army of Paulus and the 4th Panzer Army of Herman Hoth would become narrowly focused on rooting them out of the city to such an extent, that they would leave their long flanks relatively under-protected, and therefore vulnerable to Soviet attack.
That is exactly what happened, thanks to the extraordinary leadership of the 62nd Army's Commanding General---Vasily Chuikov. Chuikov was appointed commander of the 62nd Army on Sept. 12, 1942, 6 days after its former commander, General Lopatin, had been arrested for "disobeying Order 227 and lying to the Soviet High Command." Lopatin had been installed as commander of the 62nd Army after its original leader, General Kolpakchi, had been removed from his post on July 27th because of his poor performance. Chuikov placed the highest priority on the restoration of the morale in the ranks of his men. "If you rely on an order, without preparing the morale of the men who will carry it out, then those men will not swim towards the battle, but back to the bank they set out from. In this situation, posters and slogans won't help you. "(pg. 89 -- Jones).
Chuikov made it a point to visit his soldiers in their forward positions any and everywhere on the battlefield, soliciting their insights on how better the 62nd Army could combat the Wehrmacht. Word rapidly spread throughout the ranks that Chuikov was a "soldier's general" who listened to his troops and spared no effort to get them the backup and supplies that they needed. Chuikov said, "The soldier is often his own general in street fighting. You can't be a commander if you don't trust your own soldiers' skills." (pp. 88-89, Jones)
Chuikov knew that he had to "de-awesomize" the combined arms warfare capabilities of the German Wehrmacht in the minds of his men, if he were going to prevent the Germans from taking Stalingrad. Respect for the Wehrmacht was healthy; but to harbor awe of it was paralytic and deadly. Chuikov told his men to think of Stalingrad as a breakwater against the Fascist wave of Germans. Lt. Anatoly Mereshko, a 20-year-old member of the 62nd Army staff summarized his thinking:
"Imagine a strong wave from the sea. It hits the coast with tremendous force. But when you have breakwaters in the sea, the wave gets broken. The same was true in the steppe. There the Germans had the power of the whole wave. In the city, they were broken into smaller streams. Houses, especially stone houses, became obstacles. And the further the Germans went into the city, the more resistance they received from the flanks. The Germans did not change their tactics at all But a town gives a completely different war arena---especially ruin. We could split into small groups and occupy strongholds---to split their river into tributaries. We were very successful in achieving this." (pp 9-10 Jones)
Consulting closely with his troops, Chuikov devised new forms of deployment and battle, that were calculated to maximize the impact of small ad-hoc groups of soldiers, and individual soldiers, such as snipers, in deployment against the Germans in the shattered, congested cityscape of Stalingrad. For example:
- The "storm group" unit for assaults on buildings originated in this process;
- Night assaults were developed as a new form of offensive action;
- The "hug the enemy" mode of deployment was developed in this context, as a way to neutralize the effect of the Germans' overwhelming air superiority. Chiukov noticed in one after-action report, that the Germans neglected to call in an air strike against a Russian gun position, because the gun position was so close to the German lines, that the bomber pilots would have risked hitting their own troops. The "hug the enemy" positioning radically reduced the number of air strikes that the Soviet troops in forward positions subsequently received.
- The Red Army soldiers discovered that their German opponents did not have much of a stomach for room-to-room, building-to-building, hand-to-hand individualized combat situations. Whereas the Germans had seemed almost invincible in motorized combat on the vast reaches of the Russian steppes, they were revealed to be decidedly mortal and unhappy in conditions of close, personal combat. This realization gave the Soviet infantry a tremendous psychological edge in their struggles with the Germans in the ruins of the city.
It is no doubt one of the great ironies of the Battle of Stalingrad, that the 62nd Red Army won in no small measure due to the fact that its soldiers, beginning with its commander Vasily Chuikov, operated on the (Prussian) principle of Auftragstaktik. Auftragstaktik, or "mission orders", had always been the hallmark of Prussian military excellence, since the early nineteenth century when Prussia worked with Czar Alexander I to defeat Napoleon. According to that principle, officers were encouraged to use their own judgment to determine how best to fulfil their "mission orders". Creative, innovative thinking, not blind obedience to rigid orders, was encouraged at all levels of the Prussian Army. This is exactly what Chuikov meant, when he said, "the soldier is often his own general in street fighting." Later he said, "the most important thing I learned on the banks of the Volga, was to be impatient of blueprints. We constantly looked for new methods of organizing and conducting battle, starting from the precise conditions in which we were fighting." (pg. 85 Jones).
The Spiritual Substance of Victory
Notwithstanding the effectiveness of the innovations that Chuikov and his staff made in battle in 1942, those innovations do not explain how the Soviets were able to triumph at Stalingrad. Chuikov, himself, said, "The defense of Stalingrad is a paradox of military science. The encirclement and our final offensive at Stalingrad can be understood in terms of military science---but our defense is impossible to comprehend through any system of rational analysis." (pg. 10 Jones) ." It was beyond the understanding of any of us." (pg. 7 Jones)
Lieutenant Vladimir Turov, an infantry officer in the 62nd Army echoed those sentiments when he said, "In terms of our military understanding, how we held out at Stalingrad is still a complete mystery to us." (pg. 10 -- Jones)
Chuikov created an environment that was defined by an unrelenting, spiritually animated, all-encompassing commitment to the fulfilment of an historically-grounded mission whose realization would determine not only the future of Russian society, but that of the world as a whole. The spirit of Chuikov's 62nd Army was encapsulated in the Oath that all its veterans, and all new troops that joined after Oct. 17, 1942 recited.
The Oath Not to Surrender Stalingrad stated: "The Germans have destroyed the avenues and brought down the factories of Stalingrad; but Stalingrad has remained invincible. Its burned-out houses, its very stones are sacred to us. We swear to our last drop of blood, to our last breath, to our last heartbeat that we shall defend Stalingrad, and hold the enemy back from the Volga. We swear that we shall not disgrace the glory of Russian arms, and we shall fight to the end. "(pg. 233-- Jones)
Acting as the true leader that he was, Chuikov, the Russian patriot, led what amounted to a religious crusade of his communist and atheist soldiers against the invading fascists. Anatoly Kozlov, a veteran of the battle, recalled that the swearing of the Oath "involved swallowing a piece of Stalingrad's soil. By doing so, men swore to fulfil their mission under any circumstances---including giving up their lives." (pg. 234 Jones) It was as if, in swearing the Oath and swallowing the soil, soldiers were taking Communion in a Christian Church, and the bread/body of Christ was the soil of Stalingrad.
And their pathway to immortality was paved with the sacrifices that they and their fellow members of the Red Army were making in Stalingrad. Kozlov reported that, "Our soldiers created their own rituals during the battle." (pg. 234 Jones) Often men would swear over the dead body of a fellow soldier, that they would take revenge on the German Army. The war correspondent Vasily Grossman witnessed this ritual and its effect, reporting that "It was as if the dead had passed on their strength to the survivors, and there were moments when ten resolute bayonets successfully held an area which had (previously) been held by an (entire) battalion." (pg. 234 Jones)
Lieutenant Mereshko said of this battlefield ritual: "It seemed unbelievable that anyone could continue to hold out, but when a division of thousands was reduced to a couple of hundred soldiers, they would hold the ground for their dead friends." (pg. 234 Jones)
Lieutenant Alexander Fortov, the commander of an artillery unit in the 112th Division reported that, "After the battle ended, guys in my company turned to the Bible. We began to read sections of the Old Testament to each other. We were all atheists and communists, but those passages really spoke to us. It was as if someone really understood what we had gone through." (pg. 248 Jones)
In an illuminating discussion that the son of Vasily Chuikov, Alexander, had with the author Michael K. Jones, after his father died, Alexander reported,
"I remember sorting through my father's papers after his death I came across a small, hand-written prayer and immediately recognized his writing. The paper was old and creased, the ink faded. The scrap of paper would have been folded and kept as a talisman. My father---a committed communist---never spoke about it. But I know from other members of the family, that he carried it with him during the war."
The prayer read as follows: "O Powerful One! The one who can turn night into day, and rough soil into a garden of flowers. Make light everything that is hard for me---and help me." (pg. 249 Jones). "That is how we were defending Stalingrad," Alexander Chuikov said to Michael K. Jones. (pg. 249)
Under Vasily Chuikov's leadership, this spiritual mission orientation came to dominate and animate every important aspect of life and death in the 62nd Army. As Chuikov told Vasily Grossman in an interview, "On other parts of the front they are worried that cowardice will spread amongst the men; here at Stalingrad it is courage which is infectious." (pg. 135 Jones)
Ivan Burlakov, a defender of Stalingrad's Barrikady Factory spoke of the extraordinary quality of the spiritual bond that came to predominate among the soldiers: "We spoke of the saying of (Generalissimo) Suvorov---'Though you may perish in the attempt, come to the aid of your comrade-in-arms." (pg. 11 Jones)
Led and inspired by the indomitable spirit of Vasily Chuikov, the 62nd Army held its vital ground in Stalingrad until the Red Army finally, after a ten-day logistical delay, launched its great encirclement of the German 6th Army on November 19th. As Zhukov and Vasilevsky had anticipated, the Germans left their long flanks outside of Stalingrad undermanned and vulnerable to attack, as they poured all their effort into the fight against the remnants of the 62nd Army in the smoldering ruins of Stalingrad.
It is noteworthy that, given the secrecy strictures that Stalin had imposed on the operation from the outset, the first that anyone in the 62nd Army knew of the counteroffensive was at midnight on November 18th. The heroic resistance that the 62nd Army conducted at Stalingrad was done without the benefit of any direct knowledge of the impending strategic counteroffensive. It was done for its own sake!
Rick Merlotti , 02 January 2021 at 11:00 AMPatrick Armstrong , 02 January 2021 at 11:28 AM
Fantastic. Thanks for posting. Required reading for ignorant Russophobes.Barbara Ann , 02 January 2021 at 11:49 AM
You can start a war with Russia, but Russia will probably be the one to finish it.
I often thank that the cannon-founders of France and the banner-makers of Nazi Germany certainly did not expect their products to end up where they did.Walrus , 02 January 2021 at 12:26 PM
Absolutely fascinating post, many thanks Harper.
The Oath Not to Surrender Stalingrad with its dirt eating ritual sounds like it could have been written by Tyrtaeus himself - from his wiki:He [Tyrtaeus] wrote at a time of two crises affecting the city: a civic unrest threatening the authority of kings and elders, later recalled in a poem named Eunomia ('Law and Order') where he reminded citizens to respect the divine and constitutional roles of kings, council, and demos; and the Second Messenian War, during which he served as a sort of 'state poet', exhorting Spartans to fight to the death for their city.
Your final paragraph is particularly interesting - extraordinarily good OPSEC from the Soviets. As a consequence the encirclement of an enemy bent on world domination who viewed them as deplorable untermenschen came as an almost total surprise - even to allied forces.Steve Ogle , 02 January 2021 at 12:43 PM
Thank you Harper and to your friend Steve Douglas for this wonderful Christmas present!Leith , 02 January 2021 at 12:48 PM
Thank You. No words just feelings.lux , 02 January 2021 at 12:51 PM
Thanks, well written. i would guess that much of this insight come from the book by Michael K Jones: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005D7FKJG/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb
Chuikov was amazing and should have gotten much more recognition in the West. Although he was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross by the US.
BTW that 'hugging the enemy' tactic of Chuikov was copied by Giap and Tran Van Tra and used against us in the Nam.TV , 02 January 2021 at 12:51 PM
I often thank that the cannon-founders of France and the banner-makers of Nazi Germany certainly did not expect their products to end up where they did.
Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | 02 January 2021 at 11:28 AM
Slightly cryptic. Cannon founders?Laura Wilson , 02 January 2021 at 12:54 PM
If Hitler had been an American or Canadian, would he have invaded that endless space of Russia?
I think not.
Many Europeans have no concept of the vastness of Russia, Canada,
If you are in Brussels, you can go to Luxembourg for lunch.Robert G Spenser , 02 January 2021 at 01:07 PM
Fascinating. Thank you!Deap , 02 January 2021 at 01:31 PM
That was an incredible read. Thank you for posting it.
A sole line from a college history class well almost 60 years ago always haunted me. "Russian troops would not fight for the Soviet Union, but the tide of WWII was turned when they were rallied to fight for , Mother Russia ."
Other details from that lecture are now missing from memory but after reading this superb article, this must have been the very the battle and the very General the college history professor was talking about.
That line stayed with me since at the time we were in the height of the Cold War, and it was comforting to learn the bloodless, automoton "Soviets" could still be sentimental human beings devoted most to their own Mother Russia homeland.
Our college freshman class motto was "Stay Alive til '65", having been the first Duck and Cover generation cowering under our school desks in the 1950's fearing nuclear annihilation was an air raid siren's call away. Ergo, "covid" is piffle.
Thank you for this article.
Jan 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
LibertarianMenace 21 minutes ago (Edited)Herdee 9 minutes ago remove link
Remember what Benzion Mileikowsky said:
"If we get caught they will just replace us with persons of the same cloth. So it does not matter what you do, America is a golden calf and we will suck it dry, chop it up, and sell it off piece by piece until there is nothing left but the world's biggest welfare state that we will create and control. Why? Because it is the will of God and America is big enough to take the hit so we can do it again and again and again. This is what we do to countries that we hate. We destroy them very slowly and make them suffer for refusing to be our slaves."
This is the philosophy that both the CIA and Pompeo used on Trump in order to help destroy him. It actually sounds like something very similar or left over from the Nazi German era from WW2:
Jan 02, 2021 | www.rt.com
Russia ready to 'fight off' Western attempts to seize its assets in $50bn battle with oligarchs over collapsed Yukos oil empire 29 Dec, 2020 12:43 Get short URL FILE PHOTO. © Getty Images / serggn 86 147 Follow RT on Any hope of a quiet 2021 for Russia has been dashed as one of the country's top officials warns it faces a series of court battles that risk confrontation with the West, including a fight over the world's largest legal bill.
In an interview published by Moscow news agency Interfax on Tuesday, Deputy Justice Minister Mikhail Galperin said that litigation over the collapsed Yukos oil empire and fallout from Russia's 2014 reabsorption of Crimea means that "a tough year" is on the cards.
The long-running dispute over Yukos, once among Russia's leading energy firms and one of the most valuable companies in the world, has been raging for years. However, it now appears to be coming to a head as the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, which claims it has jurisdiction in the case, prepares to hear an appeal from Russia's lawyers. A legal settlement of more than $50 billion, thought to be the largest in history, hangs in the balance.READ MORE: 'It will be a challenging year': Russia's minister of justice talks to RT about legal battle with 'Yukos oligarchs' & 2021 outlook
"Of course, we're not sitting idly, waiting for the Supreme Court's decision," said Galperin. "Every day, we're defending our national interests in this case in different ways. Legal battles related to the Yukos case are taking place not only in the Netherlands, but in other jurisdictions as well."
Those who lost money in the collapse of the Yukos empire insist that the arrest of its CEO on fraud charges and a colossal bill in back-taxes amounted to state appropriation.
Russian authorities argue that previous rulings in foreign courts on the side of the claimants failed to take into account Russia's anti-corruption laws, and claim that the investors weren't "bona fide." Moscow also insists that only Russia's courts have jurisdiction, as the Energy Charter Treaty under which the case is being brought was signed but never ratified.
Galperin added that the country's "main legal argument is that Russia never agreed for the case to be heard by an international court of arbitration, which means that the judges had no mandate to consider the lawsuit Yukos ex-shareholders filed against Russia."ALSO ON RT.COM Russia can refuse to pay $50 billion bill to Yukos oligarchs, country's top court rules, as international legal battle rages on
Last week, one of Russia's highest judicial authorities ruled that the country should disregard any judgement coming from overseas tribunals. They state that, while the government of the day took steps to join the Energy Charter Treaty in 1994, they did not have the authority to make national laws subject to international agreements, or to "challenge the competence" of Russian courts. Therefore, the jurists conclude, adhering to the Dutch court's demands would be "unconstitutional."
However, if the verdict goes in favor of Yukos' former shareholders, refusing to pay the bill could have substantial repercussions for Russia, with the claimants already calling for the confiscation of the country's assets overseas as collateral.ALSO ON RT.COM Netherlands rejects Russia's request to suspend enforcement of record-breaking $50 billion awarded in Yukos case
Galperin, however, is confident that Russia could avoid cash and property falling into the hands of the oligarchs who have brought the case. "Since 2014," he said, "they have made multiple unscrupulous attempts to seize not only state property, but also assets that belong to Russian companies in Western Europe. We have successfully repelled all these assaults."READ MORE: Moscow claims win after US court rejects oligarchs' demand for seizure of Russian assets in $50bn Yukos legal battle
"While we can't rule out that in 2021 YUKOS ex-shareholders will continue their legal battle in a number of countries, I can tell you without unnecessary bravado that we are fully prepared to fight off any attempts to seize our property in any country of the world."
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands is expected to hear the case in February next year, while simultaneous battles have also been fought in US and British courts. The row comes at a time when tensions between Russia and the West are growing, with Moscow's diplomats arguing that verdicts against the country have been "politically motivated." In December, Justice Minister Konstantin Chuychenko told journalists that the case is part of a "legal war that has been declared on Russia."
As well as the Yukos case potentially reaching a dramatic climax, Galperin expects that his ministry will have their hands full next year with at least two other international disputes. As early as January, the European Court of Human Rights is expected to announce a decision on a legal fight between Moscow and Kiev over disputed Crimea. There is a further $8 billion claim from a Ukrainian energy firm that insists it lost its assets when the peninsula was reabsorbed into Russia. The same court will also rule on a case brought by Georgia over events in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008.
Jan 01, 2021 | consortiumnews.com
F ormer acting CIA Director Mike Morell, who has disingenuously argued for years that he had nothing to do with the agency's torture program, but who continued to defend it, has taken himself out of the running to be President-elect Joe Biden's new CIA director.
The decision is a victory for the peace group Code Pink, which spearheaded the Stop Morell movement, and it's a great thing for all Americans. Now, though, we have to turn our attention to Biden's nominee to be director of national intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines.
Haines is certainly qualified on paper to lead the Intelligence Community. A longtime Biden aide, she has the president-elect's confidence. But that's not good enough. Haines is exactly the kind of person who shouldn't be in a position of authority in intelligence. She is the kind of neoliberal intelligence apologist whom so many of us have opposed for so many years. Don't just take my word for it, though. Look at her record .
Haines first began working for Biden when she served as deputy general counsel of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden was its chairman. When Biden became vice president in 2009, Haines moved to the State Department, where she was the assistant legal adviser for treaty affairs. After only a year, she moved to the White House, where she became deputy assistant to the president and deputy counsel to the president for national security affairs, the National Security Council's chief attorney.
Avril Haines, at center facing, with President Barack Obama at right, and other aides, July 13, 2015. (White House Flickr, Pete Souza)
That's quite a position. What it means was that her job was to legally justify President Barack Obama's decisions on such intelligence issues as drone strikes and whether to release the CIA Torture Report. She served there under CIA Director John Brennan. Obama apparently liked the job she did for him because in 2013, he named Haines deputy director of the CIA (DD/CIA).
Haines was the first woman to be named DD/CIA, and she served again under Brennan, who proved time and again that he was no fan of congressional oversight . Haines's attitude was similar to Brennan's: The CIA was going to do what it was going to do, and she would make no apologies for it. Contribute to Consortium
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There were three controversial areas where Haines made a name for herself and for which she should have to answer in a confirmation hearing: The CIA's refusal to release the Senate Torture Report and the decision to hack into the Senate Intelligence Committee's computer system; the CIA's decision to not punish those officers who carried out the hack and who killed and tortured prisoners beyond even what the Justice Department said was permissible; and the government's drone program, in which hundreds, perhaps thousands, of civilians were killed.
Drone "pilots" launch an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle for a raid in the Middle East. (U.S. military)
Haines' Torture Cover-Up
You may recall that in December 2014, the Democratic staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a heavily redacted version of the executive summary of the committee's torture report, the result of years of investigation using primary-source CIA documents. The executive summary was about 525 pages long, just a fraction of the nearly 6,000-page complete report. And the release of the 525 pages was the result of protracted negotiations between the committee and the CIA.
In the end, the public heard a few details of what the CIA's prisoners underwent at secret prisons around the world. But the full story was never made public. It likely never will be. And that's thanks to Avril Haines.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2010. (Steve Jurvetson, Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)
Earlier that year, then-Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein took to the Senate floor in a very unusual display and accused CIA Director Brennan of spying on her committee's staff members. Specifically, Feinstein said that CIA officers had hacked into the Senate's computers to see what it was that committee investigators were focusing on.
The hacking was unprecedented, and Feinstein referred it to the Justice Department for prosecution. Attorney General Eric Holder, however, chose not to pursue the case. Brennan took responsibility for ordering the hacking and he made no apologies for it. But his top aide, his assistant, his legal adviser through the episode was Avril Haines. She has never explained her decisions in support of the hack.
Furthermore, it was Haines who overruled the CIA's inspector general and who decided not to punish those CIA officers who hacked into the committee's computers, or those CIA officers who had gone over and above what the Justice Department had authorized in its "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" program, killing and maiming prisoners.
In the end, not only were no CIA officers punished, but the leaders and most prominent officers in the torture program were promoted, in some cases into some of the most sought-after positions in the CIA. I know this to be true. I worked for them.
Haines and Drones
One area in which Haines has not received a great deal of media coverage has been her role in the drone program . When Haines was the National Security Council's top lawyer, Brennan was the keeper of the so-called kill list. It was Haines who took phone calls in the middle of the night asking her for legal authority -- permission -- to launch missile attacks from drones. She has never answered for her actions.
Now is the time for Americans to put down their collective foot on Biden's national security appointees. Morell was utterly inappropriate for a senior position in the Biden national security apparatus. Haines is, too. She has, very simply, committed crimes against humanity. I'm under no illusions that Biden is a progressive or that he will differ greatly from previous Democratic presidents on national security.
But I do believe that wrong is wrong. Avril Haines is exactly the kind of person we don't want running the Intelligence Community. This is the moment for opponents of her nomination to lobby senators on the Intelligence Committee. There's still time to defeat her.
John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act -- a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration's torture program.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
Cadogan Parry , December 30, 2020 at 21:51
The Intercept (26-June-2020) reported Haines' consulting for controversial data-mining firm Palantir. Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel is also an investor in Carbyne, co-owned by the late Jeffery Epstein and members of the Israeli political and intelligence establishment. Ties between Palantir and Carbyne were cemented when it opened a center in Israel in 2013. Hamutal Meridor, Palantir Israel's current head, served as senior director of Verint, with deep ties to Unit 8200. Verint was previously implicated in being one of two companies hired by the NSA to put a backdoor into US telecommunication systems and popular applications, ensuring it's immediate access.
Charlotte Sheasby-Coleman , December 29, 2020 at 21:21
I urge all who have read this article to watch "Silenced", a James Spione film about John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack -- whistleblowers who paid a very high price for their honesty and integrity (hXXp://silencedfilm.com). Mr. Kiriakou gave up a lucrative job and almost two years with his family for sharing the truth. His voice needs to be heard now . Avril Haines' record of ignoring tremendous human rights violations makes it clear that she should not hold a position of power in the intelligence community of the upcoming administration.
Anonymot , December 29, 2020 at 19:31
Mr. Biden is a male clone of Mrs. Clinton who is a mouthpiece for the CIA/MIC/WallSt. She is still the person who controls the Democrat National Committee (DNC) via Tom Perez and they control and advise old Joe. Joe is merely the puppet at the end of the inner organization's strings. They are all yes-men/women in the service of the shadow's mindset.
We will have another Obama puppet show.
After 4 years of the unique societal insanity ward that destroyed a maximum of the little remaining democracy, including the directorship and key personnel of every Washington bureau, there is little improvement to expect under the Biden Harris clone team. In the stupid intelligence area that Trump damaged even more deeply than is publicly known, Brennan and Clapper are back as Biden advisors.
Once again, the eagles have died, replaced by beagles sniffing out more war, more oil, and more empire.
Jan 01, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
The past year began with the assassination of the Iranian military genius General Qasem Soleimani by the United States, and it ended with the murder of the prominent scholar Mohsen Fakhrizadeh by the Israelis. In early January, Iran, expecting another aggressive action from the West, accidently shot down a Ukrainian civil aircraft that had inexplicably altered its course over Tehran without request nor authorization. Around the same time, Turkey confirmed the deployment of its military in Libya, beginning a new phase of confrontation in the region, and Egypt responding with airstrikes and additional shows of force. The situation in Yemen developed rapidly: taking advantage of the Sunni coalition's moral weakness, Ansar Allah achieved significant progress in forcing the Saudis out of the country in many regions. The state of warfare in northwestern Syria has significantly changed, transforming into the formal delineation of zones of influence of Turkey and the Russian-Iranian-Syrian coalition. This happened amid, and largely due to the weakening of U.S. influence in the region. Ankara is steadily increasing its military presence in the areas under its responsibility and along the contact line. It has taken measures to deter groups linked to Al-Qaeda and other radicals. As a result, the situation in the region is stabilizing, which has allowed Turkey to increasingly exert control over most of Greater Idlib.
ISIS cells remain active in the eastern and southern Syrian regions. Particular processes are taking place in Quneitra and Daraa provinces, where Russian peace initiatives were inconclusive by virtue of the direct destructive influence of Israel in these areas of Syria. In turn, the assassination of Qasem Soleimaniin resulted in a sharp increase in the targeting of American personnel, military and civil infrastructure in Iraq. The U.S. Army was forced to regroup its forces, effectively abandoning a number of its military installations and concentrating available forces at key bases. At the same time, Washington flatly rejected demands from Baghdad for a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops and promised to respond with full-fledged sanctions if Iraq continued to raise this issue. Afghanistan remains stable in its instability. Disturbing news comes from Latin America. Confrontation between China and India flared this year, resulting in sporadic border clashes. This situation seems far from over, as both countries have reinforced their military posture along the disputed border. The aggressive actions of the Trump administration against China deepen global crises, which has become obvious not only to specialists but also to the general public. The relationship between the collective West and the Russian Federation was re-enshrined in "the Cold War state", which seems to have been resurrected once again.
The turbulence of the first quarter of 2020 was overshadowed by a new socio-political process – the corona-crisis, the framework of which integrates various phenomena from the Sars-Cov2 epidemic itself and the subsequent exacerbation of the global economic crisis. The disclosure of substantial social differences that have accumulated in modern capitalist society, lead to a series of incessant protests across the globe. The year 2020 was accompanied by fierce clashes between protesters professing various causes and law enforcement forces in numerous countries. Although on the surface these societal clashes with the state appear disassociated, many share related root causes. A growing, immense wealth inequality, corruption of government at all levels, a lack of any meaningful input into political decision making, and the unmasking of massive censorship via big tech corporations and the main stream media all played a part in igniting societal unrest.
In late 2019 and early 2020 there was little reason for optimistic projections for the near future. However, hardly anyone could anticipate the number of crisis events and developments that had taken place during this year. These phenomena affected every region of the world to some extent.
Nevertheless, Middle East has remained the main source of instability, due to being an arena where global and regional power interests intertwine and clash. The most important line of confrontation is between US and Israel-led forces on the one hand, and Iran and its so called Axis of Resistance. The opposing sides have been locked in an endless spiral of mutual accusations, sanctions, military incidents, and proxy wars, and recently even crossed the threshold into a limited exchange of strikes due to the worsening state of regional confrontation. Russia and Turkey, the latter of which has been distancing itself from Washington due to growing disagreements with "NATO partners" and changes in global trends, also play an important role in the region without directly entering into the confrontation between pro-Israel forces and Iran.
As in the recent years, Syria and Iraq remain the greatest hot-spots. The destruction of ISIS as a terrorist state and the apparent killing of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not end its existence as a terror group. Many ISIS cells and supporting elements actively use regional instability as a chance to preserve the Khalifate's legacy. They remain active mainly along the Syria-Iraq border, and along the eastern bank of the Euphrates in Syria. Camps for the temporary displaced and for the families and relatives of ISIS militants on the territory controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in north-eastern Syria are also breeding grounds for terrorist ideology. Remarkably, these regions are also where there is direct presence of US forces, or, as in the case of SDF camps, presence of forces supported by the US.
The fertile soil for radicalism also consists of the inability to reach a comprehensive diplomatic solution that would end the Syrian conflict in a way acceptable to all parties. Washington is not interesting in stabilizing Syria because even should Assad leave, it would strengthen the Damascus government that would naturally be allied to Russia and Iran. Opposing Iran and supporting Israel became the cornerstone of US policy during the Trump administration. Consequently, Washington is supporting separatist sentiments of the Kurdish SDF leadership and even allowed it to participate in the plunder of Syrian oil wells in US coalition zone of control in which US firms linked to the Pentagon and US intelligence services are participating. US intelligence also aids Israel in its information and psychological warfare operations, as well as military strikes aimed at undermining Syria and Iranian forces located in the country. In spite of propaganda victories, in practice Israeli efforts had limited success in 2020 as Iran continued to strengthen its positions and military capabilities on its ally's territory. Iran's success in establishing and supporting a land corridor linking Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iraq, plays an important role. Constant expansion of Iran's military presence and infrastructure near the town of al-Bukamal, on the border of Iraq and Syria, demonstrates the importance of the project to Tehran. Tel-Aviv claims that Iran is using that corridor to equip pro-Iranian forces in southern Syria and Lebanon with modern weapons.
The Palestinian question is also an important one for Israel's leadership and its lobby in Washington. The highly touted "deal of the century" turned out to be no more than an offer for the Palestinians to abandon their struggle for statehood. As expected, this initiative did not lead to a breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Rather the opposite, it gave an additional stimulus to Palestinian resistance to the demands that were being imposed. At the same time, Trump administration scored a diplomatic success by forcing the UAE and Bahrain to normalize their relations with Israel, and Saudi Arabia to make its collaboration with Israel public. That was a historic victory for US-Israel policy in the Middle East. Public rapprochement of Arab monarchies and Israel strengthened the positions of Iran as the only country which not only declares itself as Palestine's and Islamic world's defender, but actually puts words into practice. Saudi Arabia's leadership will particularly suffer in terms of loss of popularity among its own population, already damaged by the failed war in Yemen and intensifying confrontation with UAE, both of which are already using their neighbor's weakness to lay a claim to leadership on the Arabian Peninsula.
The list of actors strengthening their positions in the Red Sea includes Russia. In late 2020 it became known that Russia reached an agreement with Sudan on establishing a naval support facility which has every possibility to become a full-blown naval base. This foothold will enable the Russian Navy to increase its presence on key maritime energy supply routes on the Red Sea itself and in the area between Aden and Oman straits. For Russia, which has not had naval infrastructure in that region since USSR's break-up, it is a significant diplomatic breakthrough. For its part. Sudan's leadership apparently views Russia's military presence as a security factor allowing it to balance potential harmful measures by the West.
During all of 2020, Moscow and Beijing continued collaboration on projects in Africa, gradually pushing out traditional post-colonial powers in several key areas. The presence of Russian military specialists in the Central African Republic where they assist the central government in strengthening its forces, escalation of local conflicts, and ensuring the security of Russian economic sectors, is now a universally known fact. Russian diplomacy and specialists are also active in Libya, where UAE and Egypt which support Field Marshal Khaftar, and Turkey which supports the Tripoli government, are clashing. Under the cover of declarations calling for peace and stability, foreign actors are busily carving up Libya's energy resources. For Egypt there's also the crucial matter of fighting terrorism and the presence of groups affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood which Cairo sees as a direct threat to national security.
The Sahel and the vicinity of Lake Chad remain areas where terror groups with links to al-Qaeda and ISIS remain highly active. France's limited military mission in the Sahara-Sahel region has been failure and could not ensure sufficient support for regional forces in order to stabilize the situation. ISIS and Boko-Haram continue to spread chaos in the border areas between Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun, and Chad. In spite of all the efforts by the region's governments, terrorists continue to control sizable territories and represent a significant threat to regional security. The renewed conflict in Ethiopia is a separate problem, in which the federal government was drawn into a civil war against the National Front for the Liberation of Tigray controlling that province. The ethno-feudal conflict between federal and regional elites threatens to destabilize the entire country if it continues.
The explosive situation in Africa shows that post-colonial European powers and the "Global Policeman" which dominated that continent for decades were not interested in addressing the continent's actual problem. Foreign actors were mainly focused on extracting resources and ensuring the interests of a narrow group of politicians and entities affiliated with foreign capitals. Now they are forced to compete with the informal China-Russia bloc which will use a different approach that may be a described as follows: Strengthening of regional stability to protect investments in economic projects. Thus it is no surprise that influential actors are gradually losing to new but more constructive forces.
Tensions within European countries have been on the rise during the past several years, due to both the crisis of the contemporary economic paradigm and to specific regional problems such as the migration crises and the failure of multiculturalism policies, with subsequent radicalization of society.
Unpleasant surprises included several countries' health care and social protection networks' inability to cope with the large number of COVID-19 patients. Entire systems of governance in a number of European countries proved incapable of coping with rapidly developing crises. This is true particularly for countries of southern Europe, such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Among eastern European countries, Hungary's and Romania's economies were particularly badly affected. At the same time, Poland's state institutions and economy showed considerable resilience in the face of crisis. While the Federal Republic of Germany suffered considerable economic damage in the second quarter of 2020, Merkel's government used the situation to inject huge sums of liquidity into the economy, enhanced Germany's position within Europe, and moreover Germany's health care and social protection institutions proved capable and sufficiently resilient.
Coronavirus and subsequent social developments led to the emergence of the so-called "Macron Doctrine" which amounts to an argument that EU must obtain strategic sovereignty. This is consistent with the aims of a significant portion of German national elites. Nevertheless, Berlin officially criticized Macron's statements and has shown willingness to enter into a strategic partnership with Biden Administration's United States as a junior partner. However, even FRG's current leadership understands the dangers of lack of strategic sovereignty in an era of America's decline as the world policeman. Against the backdrop of a global economic crisis, US-EU relations are ineluctably drifting from a state of partnership to one of competition or even rivalry. In general, the first half of 2020 demonstrated the vital necessity of further development of European institutions.
The second half of 2020 was marked by fierce mass protests in Germany, France, Great Britain, and other European countries. The level of violence employed by both the protesters and law enforcement was unprecedented and is not comparable to the level of violence seen during protests in Russia, Belarus, and even Kirgizstan. Mainstream media did their best to depreciate and conceal the scale of what was happening. If the situation continues to develop in the same vein, there is every chance that in the future, a reality that can be described as a digital concentration camp may form in Europe.
World media, for its part, paid particular attention to the situation in Belarus, where protests have entered their fourth month following the August 9, 2020 presidential elections. Belarusian protests have been characterized by their direction from outside the country and choreographed nature. The command center of protest activities is officially located in Poland. This fact is in and of itself unprecedented in Europe's contemporary history. Even during Ukraine's Euromaidan, external forces formally refused to act as puppetmasters.
Belarus' genuinely existing socio-economic problems have led to a rift within society that is now divided into two irreconcilable camps: proponents of reforms vs. adherents of the current government. Law enforcement forces which are recruited from among President Lukashenko's supporters, have acted forcefully and occasionally harshly. Still, the number of casualties is far lower than, for example, in protests in France or United States.
Ukraine itself, where Western-backed "democratic forces" have already won, remains the main point of instability in Eastern Europe. The Zelenskiy administration came to power under slogans about the need to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine and rebuild the country. In practice, the new government continued to pursue the policy aimed at maintaining military tension in the region in the interests of its external sponsors and personal enrichment.
For the United States, 2020 turned out to be a watershed year for both domestic and foreign policy. Events of this year were a reflection of Trump Administration's protectionist foreign policy and a national-oriented approach in domestic and economic policy, which ensured an intense clash with the majority of Washington Establishment acting in the interests of global capital.
In addition to the unresolved traditional problems, America's problems were made worse by two crises, COVID-19 spread and BLM movement protests. They ensured America's problems reached a state of critical mass.
One can and should have a critical attitude toward President Trump's actions, but one should not doubt the sincerity of his efforts to turn the slogan Make America Great Again into reality. One should likewise not doubt that his successor will adhere to other values. Whether it's Black Lives Matter or Make Global Moneymen Even Stronger, or Russia Must Be Destroyed, or something even more exotic, it will not change the fact America we've known in the last half century died in 2020. A telling sign of its death throes is the use of "orange revolution" technologies developed against inconvenient political regimes. This demonstrated that currently the United States is ruled not by national elites but by global investors to whom the interests of ordinary Americans are alien.
This puts the terrifying consequences of COVID-19 in a new light. The disease has struck the most vulnerable layers of US society. According to official statistics, United States has had about 20 million cases and over 330,000 deaths. The vast majority are low-income inhabitants of mega-cities. At the same time, the wealthiest Americans have greatly increased their wealth by exploiting the unfolding crisis for their own personal benefit. The level of polarization of US society has assumed frightening proportions. Conservatives against liberals, blacks against whites, LGBT against traditionalists, everything that used to be within the realm of public debate and peaceful protest has devolved into direct, often violent, clashes. One can observe unprecedented levels of aggression and violence from all sides.
In foreign policy, United States continued to undermine the international security system based on international treaties. There are now signs that one of the last legal bastions of international security, the New START treaty, is under attack. US international behavior has prompted criticism from NATO allies. There are growing differences of opinion on political matters with France and economic ones with Germany. The dialogue with Eastern Mediterranean's most powerful military actor Turkey periodically showed a sharp clash of interests.
Against that backdrop, United States spent 2020 continuously increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea basin. Additional US forces and assets were deployed in direct proximity to Russia's borders. The number of offensive military exercises under US leadership or with US participation has considerably increased.
In the Arctic, the United States is acting as a spoiler, unhappy with the current state of affairs. It aims to extend its control over natural resources in the region, establish permanent presence in other countries' exclusive economic zones (EEZ) through the use of the so-called "freedom of navigation operations" (FONOPs), and continue to encircle Russia with ballistic missile defense (BMD) sites and platforms.
In view of the urgent and evident US preparations to be able to fight and prevail in a war against a nuclear adversary, by defeating the adversary's nuclear arsenal through the combination of precision non-nuclear strikes, Arctic becomes a key region in this military planning. The 2020 sortie by a force of US Navy BMD-capable AEGIS destroyers into the Barents Sea, the first such mission since the end of the Cold War over two decades ago, shows the interest United States has in projecting BMD capabilities into regions north of Russia's coastline, where they might be able to effect boost-phase interceptions of Russian ballistic missiles that would be launched in retaliatory strikes against the United States. US operational planning for the Arctic in all likelihood resembles that for South China Sea, with only a few corrections for climate.
In Latin America, the year of 2020 was marked by the intensification Washington efforts aimed at undermining the political regimes that it considered to be in the opposition to the existing world order.
Venezuela remained one of the main points of the US foreign policy agenda. During the entire year, the government of Nicolas Maduro was experiencing an increasing sanction, political and clandestine pressure. In May, Venezuelan security forces even neutralized a group of US mercenaries that sneaked into the country to stage the coup in the interests of the Washington-controlled opposition and its public leader Juan Guaido. However, despite the recognition of Guaido as the president of Venezuela by the US and its allies, regime-change attempts, and the deep economic crisis, the Maduro government survived.
This case demonstrated that the decisive leadership together having the support of a notable part of the population and working links with alternative global centers of power could allow any country to resist to globalists' attacks. The US leadership itself claims that instead of surrendering, Venezuela turned itself into a foothold of its geopolitical opponents: China, Russia, Iran and even Hezbollah. While this evaluation of the current situation in Venezuela is at least partly a propaganda exaggeration to demonize the 'anti-democratic regime' of Maduro, it highlights parts of the really existing situation.
The turbulence in Bolivia ended in a similar manner, when the right wing government that gained power as a result of the coup in 2019 demonstrated its inability to rule the country and lost power in 2020. The expelled president, Evo Morales, returned to the country and the Movement for Socialism secured their dominant position in Bolivia thanks to the wide-scale support from the indigenous population. Nonetheless, it is unlikely that these developments in Venezuela and Bolivia would allow to reverse the general trend towards the destabilization in South America.
The regional economic and social turbulence is strengthened by the high level of organized crime and the developing global crisis that sharpened the existing contradictions among key global and regional players. This creates conditions for the intensification of existing conflicts. For example, the peace process between the FARC and the federal government is on the brink of the collapse in Colombia. Local sources and media accuse the government and affiliated militias of detentions and killings of leaders of local communities and former FARC members in violation of the existing peace agreement. This violence undermine the fragile peace process and sets conditions for the resumption of the armed struggle by FARC and its supporters. Mexico remains the hub for illegal migration, drug and weapon trafficking just on the border with the United States. Large parts of the country are in the state of chaos and are in fact controlled by violent drug cartels and their mercenaries. Brazil is in the permanent state of political and economic crisis amid the rise of street crime.
These negative tendencies affect almost all states of the region. The deepening global economic crisis and the coronavirus panic add oil to the flame of instability.
Countries of South America are not the only one suffering from the crisis. It also shapes relations between global powers. Outcomes of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and the global economic crisis contributed to the hardening of the standoff between the United States and China.
Washington and Beijing have insoluble contradictions. The main of them is that China has been slowly but steadily winning the race for the economic and technological dominance simultaneously boosting own military capabilities to defend the victory in the case of a military escalation. The sanction, tariff and diplomatic pressure campaign launched by the White House on China since the very start of the Trump Presidency is a result of the understanding of these contradictions by the Trump administration and its efforts to guarantee the leading US position in the face of the global economic recession. The US posture towards the South China Sea issues, the political situation in Hong Kong, human rights issues in Xinjiang, the unprecedented weapon sales to Taiwan, the support of the militarization of Japan and many other questions is a part of the ongoing standoff. Summing up, Washington has been seeking to isolate China through a network of local military alliances and contain its economic expansion through sanction, propaganda and clandestine operations.
The contradictions between Beijing and Washington regarding North Korea and its nuclear and ballistic missile programs are a part of the same chain of events. Despite the public rhetoric, the United States is not interested in the full settlement of the Korea conflict. Such a scenario that may include the reunion of the North and South will remove the formal justification of the US military buildup. This is why the White House opted to not fulfill its part of the deal with the North once again assuring the North Korean leadership that its decision to develop its nuclear and missile programs and further.
Statements of Chinese diplomats and top official demonstrate that Beijing fully understands the position of Washington. At the same time, China has proven that it is not going to abandon its policies aimed at gaining the position of the main leading power in the post-unipolar world. Therefore, the conflict between the sides will continue escalating in the coming years regardless the administration in the White House and the composition of the Senate and Congress. Joe Biden and forces behind his rigged victory in the presidential election will likely turn back from Trump's national-oriented economic policy and 'normalize' relations with China once again reconsidering Russia as Enemy #1. This will not help to remove the insoluble contradictions with China and reverse the trend towards the confrontation. However, the Biden administration with help from mainstream media will likely succeed in hiding this fact from the public by fueling the time-honored anti-Russian hysteria.
As to Russia itself, it ended the year of 2020 in its ordinary manner for the recent years: successful and relatively successful foreign policy actions amid the complicated economic, social and political situation inside the country. The sanction pressure, coronavirus-related restrictions and the global economic crisis slowed down the Russian economy and contributed to the dissatisfaction of the population with internal economic and social policies of the government. The crisis was also used by external actors that carried out a series of provocations and propaganda campaigns aimed at undermining the stability in the country ahead of the legislative election scheduled for September 2021. The trend on the increase of sanction pressure, including tapering large infrastructure projects like the Nord Stream 2, and expansion of public and clandestine destabilization efforts inside Russia was visible during the entire year and will likely increase in 2021. In the event of success, these efforts will not only reverse Russian foreign policy achievements of the previous years, but could also put in danger the existence of the Russian statehood in the current format.
Among the important foreign policy developments of 2020 underreported by mainstream media is the agreement on the creation of a Russian naval facility on the coast of the Red Sea in Sudan. If this project is fully implemented, this will contribute to the rapid growth of Russian influence in Africa. Russian naval forces will also be able to increase their presence in the Red Sea and in the area between the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman. Both of these areas are the core of the current maritime energy supply routes. The new base will also serve as a foothold of Russia in the case of a standoff with naval forces of NATO member states that actively use their military infrastructure in Djibouti to project power in the region. It is expected that the United States (regardless of the administration in the White House) will try to prevent the Russian expansion in the region at any cost. For an active foreign policy of Russia, the creation of the naval facility in Sudan surpasses all public and clandestine actions in Libya in recent years. From the point of view of protecting Russian national interests in the Global Oceans, this step is even more important than the creation of the permanent air and naval bases in Syria.
As well as its counterparts in Washington and Beijing, Moscow contributes notable efforts to the modernization of its military capabilities, with special attention to the strategic nuclear forces and hypersonic weapons. The Russians see their ability to inflict unacceptable damage on a potential enemy among the key factors preventing a full-scale military aggression against them from NATO. The United Sates, China and Russia are in fact now involved in the hypersonic weapon race that also includes the development of means and measures to counter a potential strike with hypersonic weapons.
The new war in Nagorno-Karabakh became an important factor shaping the balance of power in the South Caucasus. The Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc achieved a sweeping victory over Armenian forces and only the involvement of the Russian diplomacy the further deployment of the peacekeepers allowed to put an end to the violence and rescue the vestiges of the self-proclaimed Armenian Republic of Artsakh. Russia successfully played a role of mediator and officially established a military presence on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan for the next 5 years. The new Karabakh war also gave an additional impulse in the Turkish-Azerbaijani economic and military cooperation, while the pro-Western regime in Armenia that expectedly led the Armenian nation to the tragedy is balancing on the brink of collapse.
The Central Asia traditionally remained one of the areas of instability around the world with the permanent threat of militancy and humanitarian crisis. Nonetheless, despite forecasts of some analysis, the year of 2020 did not become the year of the creation of ISIS' Caliphate 2.0 in the region. An important role in preventing this was played by the Taliban that additionally to securing its military victories over the US-led coalition and the US-backed Kabul government, was fiercely fighting ISIS cells appearing in Afghanistan. The Taliban, which controls a large part of Afghanistan, was also legalized on the international scene by direct talks with the United States. The role of the Taliban will grow and further with the reduction of the US military presence.
While some media already branded the year of 2020 as one of the worst in the modern history, there are no indications that the year of 2021 will be any brighter or the global crises and regional instability will magically disappear by themselves. Instead, most likely 2020 was just a prelude for the upcoming global shocks and the acute standoff for markets and resources in the environment of censorship, legalized total surveillance, violations of human rights under 'democratic' and 'social' slogans' and proxy wars.
The instability in Europe will likely be fueled by the increasing cultural-civilizational conflict and the new wave of newcomers that have acute ideological and cultural differences with the European civilization. The influx of newcomers is expected due to demographic factors and the complicated security, social situation in the Middle East and Africa. Europe will likely try to deal with the influx of newcomers by introducing new movement and border restrictions under the brand of fighting coronavirus. Nonetheless, the expected growth of the migration pressure will likely contribute to the negative tendencies that could blow up Europe from inside.
The collapse of the international security system, including key treaties limiting the development and deployment of strategic weapons, indicates that the new detente on the global scene will remain an improbable scenario. Instead, the world will likely move further towards the escalation scenario as at least a part of the current global leadership considers a large war a useful tool to overcome the economic crisis and capture new markets. Russia, with its large territories, rich resources, a relatively low population, seems to be a worthwhile target. At the same time, China will likely exploit the escalating conflict between Moscow and the US-led bloc to even further increase its global positions. In these conditions, many will depend on the new global order and main alliances within it that are appearing from the collapsing unipolar system. The United States has already lost its unconditional dominant role on the international scene, but the so-called multipolar world order has not appeared yet. The format of this new multipolar world will likely have a critical impact on the further developments around the globe and positions of key players involved in the never-ending Big Game.
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Trickster , says: December 30, 2020 at 1:32 pm GMT • 13.3 hours ago
Jan 01, 2021 | www.unz.com
It sure looks like Biden will take over the White House one way or another, and while Trump and his supporters might still try a few things, the political correlation of forces inside the US ruling classes is clearly against Trump. As for the "deplorables" – they have been neutralized by stealing the election. Which means that Russia will soon face the most rabidly russophobic gang of messianic Neocons in history. So what can the world expect next?
The Dems are not meaningfully different from the Republicans. True, the Dems blame Russia for everything, while the Republicans blame China. Not much of a difference here: it is all about hate and scapegoating. And both of these factions of the oligarchic Uniparty like to blame Iran for, well, being located in the "wrong" part of the world, the Middle-East, which all US politicians (and not to mention their Israeli masters) want to control. As for the Israel Lobby, it has been trying to trigger a US attack on Iran for many decades. Recent US moves of key personnel and bombers might indicate that discussions of an attack on Iran are still very much taking place.
I don't believe that these fundamental directions in US foreign policy will change much.
Primarily because the AngloZionist Empire and even the US as we knew them are basically dead, which means that irrespective of who is in control of the US, the objective means/capabilities of the Empire and the US will remain the same . In other words, when Biden promises to show Russia how tough and mighty he will be, he will not have any more capabilities to threaten Russia with than Trump had.
So the first thing we can expect is simply "more of the same".
Now, in the Empire of Illusions which the United States has become, appearances matter much more than facts . US politicians have two quasi-reflexive reactions to any problem: use violence or throw money at it. Of course, using violence against Russia (or China and Iran) would be extremely dangerous. So throwing money at a problem is the way chosen by the US political elites (see here for the, rather boring, details).
A lot of that money will also be spent on ideological nonsense like supporting trans-gender rights in Africa, woke-awareness in the Baltic, "critical race theory" in Japan (good luck with that!), "Holocaust studies" in Poland and the like.
What will happen next is that this money will be spread amongst a pretty large US and EU bureaucracy (and its subcontractors) to all sorts of political PR actions aimed at presenting modern Russia as "Putin's Mordor" whose "Nazguls" (scary GRU and/or SVR and/or FSB agents) run around the planet looking for more targets to infect with the totally ineffective, but still scary, "Novichok". In the past, much of that money was spent inside Russia by all sorts of CIA-run NGOs and much of it was also spent on various propaganda efforts outside Russia. Again, this will not change, if anything, expect even more money poured into what are in reality strategic PSYOP operations.
The sad truth is that US politicians know very little about Russia, a country which they hate and fear, but not a country they even begin to understand. In this case, what US politicians will not realize is that Russia herself has changed a great deal in the past years: many new laws and regulation (see machine translated example here ) were adopted which, in essence, "plugged" many political "holes" in the Russian legislation which allowed AngloZionist organizations to have a great deal of influence in Russia. As a result of these reforms, it has become far more difficult for western run NGOs to influence the Russian political scene.
As a direct result of these new rules, I expect that a higher ratio of money will stay allocated to activities situated in the West and less for Russian-based activities. In plain English, this means that more US printed money will be spent on completely useless activities. The only people benefitting from this will be the entire class of pseudo "Russia experts" whose only true expertise is on how to secure grant money. They will produce even more conferences and papers which nobody will care about, but which will allow the US Neocons and their deep state to show how "Biden is firm with Russia". The typical US cocktail of waste, mismanagement and fraud (and let's not forget good old corruption!).
Russia's response to that will also be "more of the same": Russian politicians will continue to express their disgust with their western "partners" (FYI – when Russians speak of "partners" it is understood by all that they mean this only sarcastically). Foreign Minister Lavrov and one of his deputies have recently made statements basically indicating that Russia will not seek any (!) form of dialog with the West, because, frankly, it is pretty clear to them that this is a total waste of time: Russia has nobody in the West to speak to: the only country with real agency (albeit severely limited by its subordination to Israel) would be the US, all the other countries of the West are really colonies and/or protectorates with no sovereignty at all.
What about all the many military provocations the Empire is organizing all around Russia? Do they concern Russia leaders or not?
Well, no and yes.
In purely military terms, US/NATO military capabilities are no real threat to Russia whose military is much smaller, but also much more capable than the western ones. Why? Simply because building a truly powerful military has been a core strategic priority for the Kremlin who needed a military actually capable of a) deterring the West from attacking Russia and b) defeating the West should deterrence fail. In sharp contrast, western militaries have not been training for real wars for decades already: most of what the US/NATO do is using western militaries for all sorts of propaganda purposes (like "sending messages" or "showing determination" etc.) and for counter-insurgency operations, not for fighting a real, major, wars.
Right now the Russian military is much more modern (about 80% of new gear on average across all military branches and services!) and much better trained for real combat operations. In sharp contrast, the US MIC is heavy on hot air (Space Force! Hypersonic missiles! Artificial Intelligence!) and short on any actually deployed and engageable weapon systems. Away from the propaganda machine (aka "corporate legacy ziomedia"), the reality is that the West is about 1.5-2 decades behind Russia in most critical military technologies.
Last, but not least, wars are not won by machines, computers or fancy engineering: they are won by soldiers, real men, who know what they are defending and why. The contrast between the typical Russian soldier (in any service or branch of the military) and his western counterpart could not be greater than it is today. Simply put: no western country can boast that it has soldiers like Russia has and, again, I don't mean the "super dooper" elite Spetsnaz operators, I am talking about your very average, garden variety, infantry soldier, like the ones who saved Russia in the Chechen conflict in spite of operating in truly horrible and totally chaotic circumstances. These guys might not look like much, but as soldiers they are the kind every commander dreams about.
All this is to say that Russians have nothing to fear from all the western sabre-rattling, except maybe one thing: the rogue officer, on either side, who would suddenly decide to open fire (for whatever reason) thereby creating a situation which could escalate into a full-scale war very rapidly.
The other thing which is objectively bad for Russia is the number of key treaties the US has now withdrawn from: these treaties are most needed, especially as confidence building measures. Right now there are very few treaties left and that means that the US is desperate to try to suck Russia into an arms race.
This won't work.
Putin himself explained it very well when he recently said that while the West throws huge sums of money at any problem, Russia allocates brains, not money. According to Putin, it is the use of brains, rather than wasting money, which allowed Russia to develop all the weapon systems mentioned by Putin for the first time in 2018. This made it possible for Russia to get ahead by a decade or more, while using only a small fraction of the kind of money the US, and other western countries, are allocating on "defense" (while not being threatened by anybody!). In the competition between the US money printing press and the Russian brains, you can be sure that the latter one will always prevail.
The bottom line is this: the US can spend many hundred billion dollars on " countering Russian (or Chinese) influence ", but this will do absolutely nothing to help the objective circumstances and capabilities of the Empire or the US.
So the real question is what will change on the level below direct military confrontation.
In a recent press conference, Putin mentioned something very interesting about the outgoing Trump administration. He said:
"The current administration introduced new sanctions against Russia 46 times – against our legal entities and economic operators. Forty-six times – this has never ever happened before. But at the same time, bilateral trade grew by 30 percent over the previous year, oddly enough, even despite those restrictions."
So if the putatively pro-Russian Trump Administration sanctioned Russia 46 times, it is normal for the Russians to look at Biden with equanimity or even a resigned fatalism: " the West has always hated us, the West still hates us and the West will always hate us " – this truism is all but unanimously accepted amongst Russian politicians.
Still, we can count on Biden and Harris to try to show how "tough" they are on Russia and Putin: they will show their prowess mostly by demanding that their NATO/EU colonies and protectorates continue "send messages" to Russia and show their "unity" and "solidarity" with each other, mostly by parroting self-evidently nonsensical Anglo and German propaganda. Will the bilateral trade between Russia and the US continue to grow? Probably not as the list of corporations and agencies the US declares to be under sanctions will only grow further. But never say never, especially with the comprehensively hypocritical Dems
How about the kind of self-evidently ridiculous stories about Russians using (a clearly ineffective) combat biological agent like the so-called "Novichok", trying to kill irrelevant bloggers and failing to do so, or some variation on "animal Assad" "poisoning his own people"? Will that nonsense also continue? Probably, mainly simply because this is something which the Empire has demonstratively proved that it has the ability to do. So why not continue, especially with a press corps willing to parrot even the most ridiculous nonsense.
The bottom line is this: to get a sense of what any actor could do next, one always has to multiply intentions by capabilities. If there is one thing which the outgoing Maga Administration has shown, is that its declared intentions and actual capabilities are not at all commensurate: hence the long list of countries Trump threatened, but never meaningfully attacked. "Biden" (and I use this term very loosely, meaning "Biden and his real handlers") will inherit the very same geostrategic toolkit Trump had at his disposal for four years and which did not make it possible for him to effectively flex muscles, not even against weak and nearby Venezuela! We can be pretty sure that the rhetoric about Russia will get even more hate-filled and paranoid. Petty harassment (such as arrest of nationals, closures of offices, expulsion from various international events, etc.) will also continue, not so much because they work, but because a lot of people depend on these for their salary.
How likely is a shooting war? In my personal opinion, not very likely at all. I think that the folks at the Pentagon are mostly aware of the real world out there, and they probably recognize that the US armed forces are in no condition to fight any halfway capable opponent.
How likely is it that the US will use a protectorate like the Ukraine or Georgia to reignite another local war? It is not impossible, especially since the US did support SBU infiltration of terrorists into Russia. Keep in mind that the sole goal of such (a, frankly, suicidal) attack would be to provoke Russia into a military response, not to actually achieve anything else. The main problem here is that the regular armed forces of the Ukraine and Georgia are in no condition to fight, and that the (US letter soup controlled) Ukrainian and Georgian special services have already tried this many times, and so far without success, mainly because, unlike all the western countries, Russia has the actual means to lock her borders when needed.
What about the reported plan to destabilize Russia by creating conflicts all along her periphery?
It would take way too long for me here to describe what is taking place in each of these countries right now, but I will offer just the following bullet points:Southern Military District or the 58th Combined Arms Army in the region). Those who believe that Turkey strengthened its position in the region simply do not understand the outcome of the recent war (especially the very interesting drone war which showed that while Armenia could not deal with them, Russian EW literally destroyed Turkish drones in mid-air (this also happened in Syria, by the way). Central Asia is an inherently unstable region, mainly because these countries never succeeded in effectively transitioning from the Soviet period to full independence. And yes, the US has a great deal of influence in this region. But only Russia can provide effective security guarantees to the leaders of Central Asia, they all know that. Finally, Kazakhstan plays an important "buffer" role for Russia, putting distance between her and her chronically unstable southern neighbors . In the Far East, Russia and China are enjoying a long honeymoon in which their already very deep relationship only gets deeper and their collaboration stronger (in spite of western PSYOPs trying to scare Russians about how China wants to take Siberia, and other silly fairy tales). Russia is now even supplying key strategic defense technologies to China. Last, but most certainly not least, Russia has total superiority in the Arctic, where the West is many decades behind Russia. In fact, Russia is massively expanding her capabilities (civilian and military) in the Russian north, which will give her even more weight on our planet's very rich north.
Now ask yourself: do you see any of that changing in the next 4 years, even assuming a rabidly hostile Biden Administration? I sure don't.
Yes, the political atmosphere between Russia and the Empire will get worse. Most of the "action" will take place in the public media space. The quasi simultaneous collapse of the Anglo-Zionist Empire and the United States (at least as we knew them before the election steal) will not give much time or energy to western leaders to pursue policies which have already failed in the past and for which they simply do not have the means.
Trump or Biden was never a meaningful choice for Russia (only the Russian court jester Zhirinovskii thought otherwise). It's not much of a choice today either. The most likely consequence of these collapses will be that the world will split in roughly two sections: "Section A" which will include all the countries of the "collective West" and which will be busy trying to survive a crisis which has only begun and "Section B": the rest of the world, which will try hard to decouple itself from the sinking West and try to develop itself in this rather unstable environment.
Also, many Russians remember the gerontocracy which ruled in the last years of the USSR and they know how such gerontocracies act (make no difference if the country is ruled by a Chernenko or a Biden – such rulers are always weak and clueless).
Biden or Trump – no real difference for Russia.
This is why most Russians don't care either way.
Notsofast , says: December 30, 2020 at 3:18 am GMT • 23.6 hours agoFelix Keverich , says: December 30, 2020 at 5:03 am GMT • 21.8 hours ago
i remember the late 80's when ronald reagan was declared a genius for single handedly spending the ussr into oblivion. when the reagan administration took over (with a little help from daddy bush working a deal with the iranians to hold on to the hostages until after the election) the national debt was $900,000,000,000. when he left office he had tripled that, a small price to pay for taking down the evil empire, they told me. in the 90's clinton and his best friend newt gingrich magically balanced the budget (by raiding the social security trust fund and leaving a rubber iou behind). when the skull and bones division of the neocons seized power the debt was $6,000,000,000,000. twenty years and several wars later we were at $23,000,000,000,000. we are about to reach $30,000,000,000,000 after a bad flu season this year. our military is exhausted, our equipment is so out dated and worn it isn't worth bringing back, (if we ever leave the middle east), the russians and chinese are decades ahead in technological terms. now tell me, who spent who into oblivion?Carlton Meyer , says: Website December 30, 2020 at 5:45 am GMT • 21.1 hours ago
Russia remains vulnerable to Western efforts at political subversion. And Democrats excel at this. Remember, it was during the presidency of Barack Obama when Putin faced toughest challenge to his rule. I'm talking, of course, about Bolotnaya protests.
These days millions of Russian kids watch political videos, promoted by Youtube, where they are being taught, that their country sucks and there is no hope for their lives whatsoever unless they overthrow Putin. Russian politicians do not use the internet and appear completely oblivious to this danger. They're a bit like Saker to be honest: obsessed with their tank divisions and rockets, dinosaurs preparing for yesterday's war. They risk finding themselves in Lukashenka's position.mike99588 , says: December 30, 2020 at 6:11 am GMT • 20.7 hours ago
Excellent article. Even the US Marine Corps is cutting infantry battalions to fund "information groups". A new video addresses this anti-Russian propaganda:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/WqBU8EyPSh8?feature=oembedGomezAdddams , says: December 30, 2020 at 6:18 am GMT • 20.6 hours ago
Russia doesn't have the working bodies to be a world hegemon.
CCP China does.
The Russian workers (Moscow, Cyprus) I've seen were indolent compared to Chinese.
Infiltration? Even here, the CCP leaning faction is large.
China appears to be Biden's highest bidder, and largest "investor", so far
Either Trump drops the hammer before Jan 20, or we're fucked on China.
Probably so's Russia, on a longer schedule.anonymous  Disclaimer , says: December 30, 2020 at 6:38 am GMT • 20.2 hours ago
Warsaw Pact was canclled –but NATO grew and grew and grew after Bush stating " We will never expand–honest" and then 911 arrived and Firechief exclaimng "We decided to PULL IT !" but othing had struck it and of course WMD in Iraq -- –Weston Waroda , says: December 30, 2020 at 6:52 am GMT • 20.0 hours ago
It's improbable that there would be any direct military clash somewhere even though there's always the possibility of a mistake leading to a crisis. The US uses color revolutions, proxy wars, subversion, bribery, economic warfare, sanctions and varying forms of sabotage. It's been pretty successful so far with this all over the world but Russia is too big and self-sufficient to be forced to capitulate.
rhetoric about Russia will get even more hate-filled and paranoid
The US propaganda system always needs a boogeyman to scare the public with. Promotion of fear is an inherent part of the American system of engineering consent.
far more difficult for western run NGOs to influence the Russian political scene.
Big tech collusion in enforcing censorship here in the US has become heavy-handed and omnipresent. But one supposes there'll be complaints about lack of free speech in Russia.
Trump was verbally belligerent but stopped short of starting any new wars, placating the establishment with imposing sanctions, assassinating Soleimani, etc. Biden is a stupid, reckless incompetent who could easily stumble us into conflicts we can't handle. But then, it would be his handlers who actually pull the strings and they seem to be as cretinous as him.Seraphim , says: December 30, 2020 at 7:21 am GMT • 19.5 hours ago
As for the "deplorables" – they have been neutralized by stealing the election.
Neutralized? No way José, the deplorables are mad as hornets about the stolen election and are just getting started. And they have their Second Amendment assets, and it's not even January 20th yet.@Felix Keverichgoldgettin , says: December 30, 2020 at 7:46 am GMT • 19.1 hours ago
Do you see the 'YouTube' kids starting a revolution, storming the Kremlin, and the 'organs' watching them with arms crossed from the side? Wouldn't they rather send them to develop the Arctic?@Felix KeverichPriss Factor , says: Website December 30, 2020 at 8:45 am GMT • 18.1 hours ago
You appear to assume a lot Got a horse in this race?
Curious about your qualifications as well.
Tell us more or, are you a ?Carlos22 , says: December 30, 2020 at 8:53 am GMT • 18.0 hours ago
More kids? Destroy pop culture and hang the pimps & whores.
https://russia-insider.com/en/start-making-babies-or-youll-be-cleaning-chinese-boots-top-russian-priest-smirnov-dying-nation-video@Felix KeverichDumbo , says: December 30, 2020 at 9:15 am GMT • 17.6 hours ago
Unlike the 80s there is no official ideological differences except that Russia's ideology of national sovereignty, family and strength is in assendence while the US Marxist one of globo homo anti white hate thyself BLM is openly ridiculed by the quiet majority.
It is about the US that people openly talk about being on the verge of civil war not Russia these days.
Most Russians know it's a fight against subjugation there is no other way, defend itself or get eaten.
Besides under the Harris presidency in a year or two it will be white Americans who will be told officially they suck.Ilya G Poimandres , says: December 30, 2020 at 9:24 am GMT • 17.5 hours ago
These days millions of Russian kids watch political videos, promoted by Youtube, where they are being taught, that their country sucks and there is no hope for their lives whatsoever unless they overthrow Putin
The cleverest trick the Devil ever invented was to convince young (white) people that Globohomo, Blacks Lives Matter and Immigration are somehow a benefit to them and that they should fight for their own displacementMikael_ , says: December 30, 2020 at 9:34 am GMT • 17.3 hours ago
Biden has a lot of compromat and Harris is basically akin to a wigger in a black gang, who will need to prove her devotion when she takes the reigns after Biden.
Both will be like putty in their handler's hands.
Politicians start wars to make the public look away from domestic or personal crises. Biden already has his corruption probe, and whilst Trump made many errors, he did not fall for the trap of starting a major foreign policy disaster for personal political gain.
Both Biden and Harris would do that in a heartbeat. So whether that would be Iran or Ukraine, or pushing Taiwan too far, I'm pretty confident a war will start.
I always said with Trump the odd's are 80% civil war, 10% world war, 10% peace, whilst Biden is around 50% civil war, 45% world war, 5% peace.@Felix KeverichLet it be... , says: December 30, 2020 at 11:07 am GMT • 15.8 hours ago
Nice display of your brainwashedness, from western propaganda.
You didn't follow Saker's link to the machine translated example , did you?
One would need a bit more than broad, completely unsubstantiated claims by you that Russian kids in large numbers actually believe those YT lies and similar.
And Lukashenko isn't doing so bad, currently.@Felix Keverich ng "dusty, dirty" -- a term used in 2nd-millennium BCE texts throughout the Fertile Crescent for people variously described as rebels, outlaws, raiders, mercenaries, bowmen, servants, slaves, and laborers"(Wikipedia).John Hagan , says: Website December 30, 2020 at 11:53 am GMT • 15.0 hours ago
The 2001 paper "Who are the Hîabiru of the Amarna Letters?" by retired professor (Andrews University) S. Douglas Waterhouse (2001) joined a lot of dots for me. A good stumble on, thanks, Guyénot and others who posted relevant comments etc. (A copy can be found here: https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/jats/vol12/iss1/3/ )@Carlos22 ashion. Yet that is what the US empire wants. It is hard to imagine the opportunity for satire could be greater.Schuetze , says: December 30, 2020 at 12:13 pm GMT • 14.7 hours ago
Here is some preliminary ideas
I also did a satire on Bellingcat called Bellingbat that examines some of the same issues. Of course there is a fair amount of nudity involved as that is the US way when considering if powerful females can be trusted. Unlike Lautrec I was never allowed into the ballerina's dressing rooms even though I was a recognized well respected painter and would seek death should I betray a slack breast or two.
Cheers all and have a happy new year.Moi , says: December 30, 2020 at 12:29 pm GMT • 14.4 hours ago
"Last, but not least, wars are not won by machines, computers or fancy engineering: they are won by soldiers, real men, who know what they are defending and why."
Azerbaijan just ate Putin's lunch by crushing Armenia's entire AA systems and their piece by piece destruction of hundreds of T90's and all the Armenian artillery. Azerbaijan accomplished this through Israeli military technology, likely including remote drone piloting services.
Saker wants to pretend that it is the US that has Israel on a leash, but it is clearly the other way around. Israel has already hoovered up all of the US electronics and military patents and clearly any other patents that would be useful in a war, especially a war for Eretz Israel.
Azerbaijan took out all the Armenian armor and air defenses with Israeli drones like the Hovering Artillery Drones and Suicide drones. The amount of live film is staggering, and the T90's were picked off like sparrows sitting on an electric wire. Some of the drones Azerbaijan used were Turkish, but we can be certain that the technology is either licensed from Israel or Israel's gollum the JEWSA.
Added to this complete mastery of the traditional battlespace is the complete Heeb control over the bio-warfare space. Whether Putin allowed Russia to be circumcised while he played along to the Rabbi's Covid rituals, or whether Putin is playing it safe and vaccinating and closing its borders pre-emtively is irrellevant. Russia is being bullied like a lone teenage Swedish boy at muslim majority high school in Malmo.
And of course, Russia still has a Rothschild controlled Central Bank too.
So Putin, just like Biden, is going to do exactly what his Chabad Lubbovitz Rabbi's tell him he has to do. Both are Israel's Shabbez Bitches.@mike99588Tsigantes , says: December 30, 2020 at 12:31 pm GMT • 14.4 hours ago
I pray to sweet Lord Jesus for the rise of China.@Felix Keverich everyone knows that the US and England hate Russia and Putin, thus whatever these 2 countries claim about either is dismissed with a laugh. As for Skripal (where are they now? dead?), Navalny, novichok, Assad gassing his own people ..a child can see through this stuff. Sorry!yurivku , says: December 30, 2020 at 12:53 pm GMT • 14.0 hours ago
Young people in Russia watching US propaganda against their country you honestly think they are going to agree with the country (USA) that has targeted them with missiles and nuclear bombs for 70 years? Do you think we can't see the corruption and stupidity?
But I'm wasting my time here. Facts, logic, is lost on a person so naive and brainwashedas yourself.@goldgettinTrickster , says: December 30, 2020 at 1:26 pm GMT • 13.4 hours ago
Tell us more or, are you a ?
he's pretending to be Russian intelligent, which I doubt – not his name nor his thoughts seem to be Russian.
He's right only in one thing – there's quite a big part of our society who think that Putin (despite his obvious achievements) has to go. And those aren't liberasts, but patriots. Putin is very deep in oligarchy swamp and he achieved max he could, i'm afraid.
Now he's just trying to keep the status quo.@Felix KeverichLarchmonter420 , says: December 30, 2020 at 1:29 pm GMT • 13.4 hours ago
I believe you have a serious problem. When the stork brought you, it must have dropped you on your head. Your comment is sheer nonsense. Do you really believe the shit you have written or do you have a vulgar desire for "replies".
You are either an idiot or an ass wash douche troll. Comment intelligently or not at all and for heavens sake, seek medical attention for the lump on your head ( and the one inside it as well)@John Hagan actors
And, my paraphrase of the above quote:
"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own drama . And while you're studying that drama -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new dramas , which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're drama's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Dont be so hard on Felix the cat. He has been hiding under his mother;s bed surrounded by rolls of toilet paper and wearing a mask since March 2020. Self imposed solitary confinement does things to a person more so one who was retarded at birth.
Once he has his operation to remove his head from his ass his IQ should increase by 100% .from 2 to 4 !
Jan 01, 2021 | www.rt.com
Weaponized courts: The $50 bn Yukos case may be the final straw for Russia, ending its cooperation with Western 'justice' 17 Nov, 2020 11:24 Get short URL FILE PHOTOS. © Getty Images / artisteer; © Wikipedia 38 1 Follow RT on
Patrick Armstrong spent 30 years as an analyst for the Canadian government, specializing in first the USSR and then Russia. He was a Political Counselor in the Canadian Embassy in Moscow from 1993 to 1996. Given the torrent of anti-Russian sentiment in the West, it's unlikely Moscow would get a fair hearing in legal proceedings overseen by Western courts. And recent hints suggest three decades of engagement may be coming to an end.
A Dutch court has just reversed another earlier Dutch court ruling that reversed an even earlier Dutch court ruling. Russia had been sued by a company representing the shareholders of erstwhile oil giant Yukos. The latest iteration, reversing the reversal and taking us back to the original judgment, demands that Russia pay $50 billion to its shareholders. Yukos was nationalized in the early 2000s, on the grounds of failure to pay tax arrears after the arrest of its CEO for tax evasion.
So, what should Moscow do? It has appealed, but perhaps it should think about whether it still wants to play the game.
Let's look at the behavior of other Dutch courts. In 2001, Slobodan Milošević appeared at the Hague charged with crimes against humanity, genocide – the full package. And, quite rightly, said most Westerners, because had not their media already named him the "butcher of the Balkans" ?ALSO ON RT.COM Yukos case: Netherlands prepares for hearing in $50 billion plus legal battle over disgraced ex-oligarch's former oil empire
In 2016, the International Court of Justice ruled that maybe he hadn't been as guilty as first assumed. But it was too late: Milošević had died in his prison cell 10 years before, with the trial still rolling on.
The Netherlands is also in charge of the investigation into the destruction of the MH-17 flight over Ukraine in 2014. Again, we had immediate Western news assertions that Putin and Russia were responsible, and the personal assurance of former Secretary of State John Kerry that US intelligence resources had watched the whole thing unfold. And it's been a fact-free Gish gallop ever since.
After several investigations, suspiciously dependent on Ukrainian intelligence sources, social media, and the US-government funded agency Bellingcat, with no one asking where the "we saw it" was, the trial of four individuals began in March 2020 and has been proceeding at the same comfortable pace as the Milošević trial.ALSO ON RT.COM Investigation launched into claims that employees of ex-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky's media group took part in 2014 gang rape
In 2018, Ukraine, without the least suspicion of a chain of evidence, produced some parts it claimed were from the surface-to-air missile said to have shot the plane down. The parts had numbers, numbers can be traced, and the missile factory traced them. They were parts of a missile shipped to an anti-aircraft unit in the west of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in December 1986.
The judges decided that the documents were irrelevant because they "may say something about where the missile was between 86 and 91, but they say nothing about where the missile was in July 2014." Presumably, a daring raid from Donetsk to an ammo dump in Western Ukraine had happened, which nobody noticed. So, one might ask what Russia can expect from any trial held in the Netherlands except an interminable process until the defendant dies.
Russians might then turn their attention to the practice of the rule of law in other Western countries today. Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, is approaching her third year of house arrest in Canada. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been in a British prison with one of the most severe regimes for the past 18 months and is approaching the second year of his extradition hearing. Maria Butina, convicted in 2018 of acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia, was in a US prison for five months, often in solitary confinement, on very questionable charges. Senior French executive Frédéric Pierucci arrested in 2013 and later imprisoned in a US maximum-security facility for unwittingly breaching American bribery laws. Or the US's open-ended Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act – a federal law that, in 2017, imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. Or the huge fine imposed on Russia's Gazprom energy corporation in a Polish court just last month over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Or they might consider that Venezuela stored its national gold reserves in London for safekeeping but can't have it back (although that judgment has recently been reversed – for now). Or that the European Union extended its sanctions on Russia because it couldn't prove its innocence of the latest accusation over Ukraine. Russian observers might be forgiven if they regarded this as not rule of law but war of law – lawfare.ALSO ON RT.COM Netherlands to take Russia to European Court of Human Rights over 'role' in MH17 crash
Moscow has generally played the game and accepted Western court rulings and, sometimes, they've gone its way: for example, the European Court of Human Rights' ruling of 2011 that the case against Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky had not been politically motivated. But, given the relentless cascade of accusations – redoubled in the past five years – perhaps Moscow should reconsider, on the grounds that Western 'justice' will never give it a fair shake.
Will it do so? Well, there have been some hints. At a conference of the Valdai Discussion Club think tank last month, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia no longer looked to Western Europe as an example and was not going to be its vassal. The constitution was recently amended to make Russian law primary. These would appear to be clues that Moscow is at least pondering the conclusion that Western courts are not an arbiter, but a weapon.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Jan 01, 2021 | www.rt.com
Moscow is set for a showdown with Western judges and 1990s Russian oligarchs, over a new ruling enabling the country to refuse to pay what is considered to be the biggest legal settlement in history, over a collapsed oil empire.
The Constitutional Court, one of Russia's highest judicial authorities, ruled on Friday that the decision of an international tribunal in the long-running dispute over the now-dissolved energy giant Yukos is incompatible with Russian law. The case has been heard by a court in The Hague, which claims jurisdiction under the terms of the Energy Charter Treaty, and awarded the company's former shareholders a $50-billion payout from the Russian government earlier this year. Moscow claimed a win in November on the other side of the Atlantic, when a US court, which had been hearing the case simultaneously, decided to throw it out.
However, as Russia signed but never ratified the Treaty, which hands powers to international tribunals, the Constitutional Court has now determined it is not bound by the terms of The Hague judgement. The ruling states that, while the country's government of the day began the process of signing up to the pact in 1994, they did not have the authority to make national laws inferior to international agreements, or to "challenge the competence" of Russian courts. Therefore, the jurists conclude, adhering to the Dutch court's demands would be "unconstitutional."ALSO ON RT.COM New twist in $50bn Yukos battle as US court sides with Russia over oligarchs & suspends controversial case
The claimants in the case are oligarchs who lost cash when Yukos, once among Europe's largest firms, collapsed. They say that a multi-billion dollar tax bill and the arrest of its CEO and founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, on fraud charges amounted to state 'appropriation' of its assets. However, Russian authorities insist that the shareholders cannot be considered "legitimate," and that the Dutch judges had steamrolled over the country's laws against corruption and fraud when ruling in their favour.
As far back as July 2014, The Hague ordered Moscow to cough up $50 billion to compensate the plaintiffs. After exhausting the appeals process in February this year, Russia's lawyers asked the Dutch Supreme Court to consider the case and overrule the decision. However, at the start of December, it similarly backed the oligarchs.
Russia has insisted that the judgements are "politically motivated," and in December the country's Justice Minister, Konstantin Chuychenko, told journalists that the case was part of a "legal war that has been declared on Russia." He added that "Russia must adequately defend itself and, sometimes, even attack back."
Now standing at around $50 billion, around the same ballpark as Russia's annual military budget, the colossal settlement is thought to be the largest award in history. If the country now rejects the bill, it would spark one of the most serious impasses in international legal history, and leave Western states deciding whether to respect Russia's constitutional ruling, or to enforce the demands by confiscating assets.ALSO ON RT.COM Russian justice minister claims $50 billion Yukos case shows West waging 'legal war' on Moscow & says it should fight back
Yukos' former shareholders have already sought to have Western governments take control of Russian property overseas as an insurance policy in case Moscow refuses to pay up. However, in November, a judge in the simultaneous hearing in the US refused that request, saying that "the Russian Federation is a sovereign country with economic tendrils that cross the globe, not an insecure potential debtor that must be required to post security lest there be no assets to seize at a later date."
Not all countries have taken the same approach, however, and in 2015 Russia's diplomats slammed France and Belgium for confiscating state cash in overseas banks, and even buildings, to be held as collateral in the case. Moscow again rejected the court's authority and said their move was "an openly hostile act." Tim Osborne, a British lawyer representing the former shareholders, said at the time that such seizures were necessary because Russia "has no regard for international law or the rule of law."READ MORE Yukos case: Netherlands prepares for hearing in $50 billion plus legal battle over disgraced ex-oligarch's former oil empire
At its height, Yukos produced 20 per cent of Russia's oil, placing it firmly among the ranks of the world's most valuable enterprises. It had been formed by the privatization of former state assets after the fall of the Soviet Union, with Khodorkovsky acquiring the assets for a fraction of their worth at an auction that one economist, Andrey Illarionov, called "the swindle of the century."
Khodorkovsky claims his arrest on fraud charges and the subsequent collapse of Yukos was tied to his political activism and his personal animosity towards Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin, however, claims that the oligarch, once said to be Russia's wealthiest man, had admitted his guilt to him privately in exchange for a pardon in 2013.
Khodorkovsky insists that he has renounced any claims to his former empire and that, should a settlement be reached in the Yukos case, he would not stand to benefit. However, Russian authorities are said to suspect that a number of claimants have close financial ties to the former oil magnate.
Mar 06, 2020 | www.counterpunch.orgFacebook Twitter Reddit Email
For the last five years, the American media has been filled with scurrilous articles demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin has been accused of every crime imaginable, from shooting down airplanes, to assassinating opponents, to invading neighboring countries, to stealing money to manipulating the U.S. president and helping to rig the 2016 election.
Few of the accusations directed against Putin have ever been substantiated and the quality of journalism has been at the level of "yellow journalism."
In a desperate attempt to sustain their political careers, centrist Democrats like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton accused their adversaries of being Russian agents – again without proof.
And even the progressive hero Bernie Sanders – himself a victim of red-baiting – has engaged in Russia bashing and unsubstantiated accusations for which he offers no proof.
Guy Mettan's book, Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2017) provides needed historical context for our current political moment, showing how anti-Russian hysteria has long proliferated as a means of justifying Western imperialism.
Mettan is a Swiss journalist and member of parliament who learned about the corruption of the media business when his reporting on the world anticommunist league rankled his newspapers' shareholders, and when he realized that he was serving as a paid stenographer for the Bosnian Islamist leader Alija Izetbegovic in the early 1990s.
Mettan defines Russophobia as the promotion of negative stereotypes about Russia that associate the country with despotism, treachery, expansion, oppression and other negative character traits. In his view, it is "not linked to specific historical events" but "exists first in the head of the one who looks, not in the victim's alleged behavior or characteristics."
Like anti-semitism, Mettan writes, "Russophobia is a way of turning specific pseudo-facts into essential one-dimensional values, barbarity, despotism, and expansionism in the Russian case in order to justify stigmatization and ostracism."
The origins of Russophobic discourse date back to a schism in the Church during the Middle Ages when Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Roman empire and modified the Christian liturgy to introduce reforms execrated by the Eastern Orthodox Churches of the Byzantine empire.
Mettan writes that "the Europe of Charlemagne and of the year 1000 was in need of a foil in the East to rebuild herself, just as the Europe of the 2000s needs Russia to consolidate her union."
Before the schism, European rulers had no negative opinions of Russia. When Capetian King Henri I found himself a widower, he turned towards the prestigious Kiev kingdom two thousand miles away and married Vladimir's granddaughter, Princess Ann.
A main goal of the new liturgy adopted by Charlemagne was to undermine any Byzantine influence in Italy and Western Europe.
Over the next century, the schism evolved from a religious into a political one.
The Pope and the top Roman administration made documents disappear and truncated others in order to blame the Easterners.
Byzantium and Russia were in turn rebuked for their "caesaropapism," or "Oriental style despotism," which could be contrasted which the supposedly enlightened, democratic governing system in the West.
Russia was particularly hated because it had defied efforts of Western European countries to submit to their authority and impose Catholicism.
In the 1760s, French diplomats working with a variety of Ukrainian, Hungarian and Polish political figures produced a forged testament of Peter 1 ["The Great"] purporting to reveal Russia's 'grand design' to conquer most of Europe.
This document was still taken seriously by governments during the Napoleanic wars; and as late as the Cold War, President Harry Truman found it helpful in explaining Stalin.
In Britain, the Whigs, who represented the liberal bourgeois opposition to the Tory government and its program of free-trade imperialism, were the most virulent Russophobes, much like today's Democrats in the United States.
The British media also enflamed public opinion by taking hysterical positions against Russia – often on the eve of major military expeditions.
The London Times during the 1820s Greek Independence war editorialized that no "sane person" could "look with satisfaction at the immense and rapid overgrowth of Russian power." The same thing was being written in The New York Times in the 2010s.
A great example of the Orientalist stereotype was Bram Stoker's novel Dracula , whose main character was modeled after Russian ruler, Ivan the Terrible. As if no English ruler in history was cruel either.
The Nazis took Russo-phobic discourse to new heights during the 1930s and 1940s, combining it with a virulent anti-bolshevism and anti-semitism.
A survey of German high school texts in the 1960s found little change in the image of Russia. The Russians were still depicted as "primitive, simple, very violent, cruel, mean, inhuman, cupid and very stubborn."
The same stereotypes were displayed in many Hollywood films during the Cold War, where KGB figures were particularly maligned.
No wonder that when a former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin, took power, people went insane.
Russophobia in the United States has been advanced most insidiously by the nation's foreign policy elite who have envisioned themselves as grand chess-masters seeking to checkmate their Russian adversary in order to control the Eurasian heartland.
This view is little different than European colonial strategists who had learned of the importance of molding public opinion through disinformation campaigns that depicted the Russian bear as a menace to Western civilization.
Guy Mettan has written a thought-provoking book that provides badly needed historical context for the anti-Russian delirium gripping our society.
Breaking the taboo on Russophobia is of vital importance in laying the groundwork for a more peaceful world order and genuinely progressive movement in the United States. Unfortunately, recent developments don't inspire much confidence that history will be transcended.
Jeremy Kuzmarov is the author of The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018) and Obama's Unending Wars: Fronting for the Foreign Policy of the Permanent Warfare State (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2019).
Dec 30, 2020 | www.youtube.com
SUBSCRIBEIn his address to the IIEA, Professor Mearsheimer discusses the foreign policy agenda of the President Biden administration. He shares his insights on the likely continuities as well as differences between the Biden administration's policies and the policies pursued by President Trump over the past four years. About the Speaker: John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982. He graduated from West Point (1970), has a PhD in political science from Cornell University (1981), and has written extensively about security issues and international politics. Among his six books, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001, 2014) won the Joseph Lepgold Book Prize; and The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (with Stephen M. Walt, 2007), made the New York Times bestseller list. His latest book is The Great Delusion: Liberal Ideals and International Realities (2018), which won the 2019 Best Book of the Year Award from the Valdai Discussion Conference, Moscow. In 2020, he won the James Madison Award, which is given once every three years by the American Political Science Association to "an American political scientist who has made a distinguished scholarly contribution to political science." Recorded on the 17th of November 2020
Matthew Jackson , 1 day ago (edited)rose fiend , 2 days ago
His predictions here are coming true right now. I would also add that the polarization of politics in the US will have continued unpleasant domestic social ramifications. Do I want to stay and endure it ? Trump did try like hell to back the US out of long standing losing wars in the middle east. Nobody appreciates this though.Morad Khan , 1 week ago
Problem is Biden is as clueless as he appears.Tune Safari , 1 month ago
I absolutely agree with you, Sir.Lowen Blade , 1 month ago
Always great to hear Prof. Mearsheimer's views. Thank you
It's delusional to think PRC could be "contained," but neocons just don't get it.
rollo clevich , 1 week ago
Mearsheimer expects the Dems to give up on the mindless saber-rattling directed at Russia for the last four years. He may be right, the D's were likely cynically providing "boob bait for the bubbas." Taking a tough line vs China is more unlikely given that PRC is so closely tied to the Silicon Valley and Wall Street plutocrats who are the real base of the Democrat Party.
Dec 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jen , Dec 28 2020 20:34 utc | 11
I might have added @ 8 also that another Navalny groupie follower, Lyubov Sobol, also a lawyer, was arrested recently for invading the apartment of supposed FSB employee Konstantin Kudryavtsev's mother-in-law (after entering the building on false pretences) and filming around the apartment. Sobol was accompanied by people illegally wearing Rospotrebnadzor uniforms.
To date there's no clear evidence that Konstantin Kudryavtsev actually did speak to Navalny on the phone and the entire phone interview (during which Navalny was told that the FSB tried to kill him a second time by putting Novichok on his underwear) may have been a stunt pulled by people who stole parts of a phone database and the metadata attached to phone transactions on that database.
Der Spiegel, CNN, another media outlet and Bellingcat apparently paid Bitcoin or cryptocurrency of some sort to access the data from sources to whom the phone database information was "leaked".
Interestingly the British Lancet magazine released a report which reveals that 31 hours after Navalny was admitted to hospital in Omsk, a German medical crew had access to Navalny. This gives a whole day and seven hours for the FSB to do its dastardly work of trying to kill Navalny a second time while he was in intensive care and receiving (supposedly) intubation.
Dec 29, 2020 | outline.com
The war in Afghanistan, now in its 19th year, is the longest and most intractable of America's forever wars. There are now American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan who were born after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the ostensible casus belli . The American public has long ago grown tired of the war. A YouGov poll conducted in July of 2020 showed that 46 percent of Americans strongly supported withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, with another 30 percent saying they "somewhat" approved of troop withdrawal.
But this 76 percent majority is deceptive. Given the fact that America has a volunteer army and American casualties in Afghanistan remain sporadic, this is not an issue that the public is passionate about. An inchoate dissatisfaction is compatible either with disengagement or just a lack of interest. Conversely, those in the national security establishment who do passionately support the war are able to thwart political leaders who want a drawdown. Under both Barack Obama and Donald Trump, presidential efforts to disengage from Afghanistan and the larger Middle East were met with resistance from a foreign policy elite that sees any withdrawal as a humiliating defeat.
Trump tried to resolve the contradiction between his desire to remove troops and the foreign policy elite's commitment to the Afghan war by loosening the rules of war . The thinking of the Trump administration was that by unleashing the military and intelligence agencies, it could subdue the Taliban -- thus preparing the way for a drawdown of troops. Special priority was given to CIA-run covert operations using Afghan paramilitaries, with the belief that this would lead to a more sustainable war that didn't require American soldiers to participate in fighting.
A report in The Intercept , written by reporter Andrew Quilty, documents the horrifying consequences of this policy: Afghan paramilitary units, known as 01 and 02, have acted as death squads, launching raids against civilians that have turned into massacres. Many of these raids have attacked religious schools, the famous madrassas, leading to the death of children as young as 8 years old.
According to Quilty, "Residents from four districts in Wardak -- Nerkh, Chak, Sayedabad, and Daymirdad -- spoke of a string of massacres, executions, mutilation, forced disappearances, attacks on medical facilities, and airstrikes targeting structures known to house civilians. The victims, according to these residents, were rarely Taliban. Yet the Afghan unit and its American masters have never been publicly held accountable by either the Afghan or U.S. governments."
These raids all involve Afghan paramilitaries who are outside the control of the Afghan government and working in conjunction with American handlers who provide high-tech aid and direction, Quilty reports.
The units' American CIA advisers go by pseudonyms or call signs rather than names.They not only train Afghan unit members, but also choose their targets, which the Americans call "jackpots"; issue detailed pre-mission briefings; and accompany Afghan paramilitaries on the ground during raids. The Afghans and Americans are ferried to remote villages at night by American helicopters, and American assault aircraft hover overhead while they conduct their raids, providing lethal firepower that is sometimes directed at health clinics, madrassa dormitories, or civilian homes.
Despite providing detailed accounts of American-led war crimes, The Intercept 's report has been met with near-silence from the American media. Jake Tapper of CNN retweeted the article , but otherwise there is little indication that the American media cares.
As Intercept reporter Ryan Grim notes , "It's been two days since this story was published, and the mainstream media has been largely silent on it. Imagine if the media treated the My Lai massacre this way." (In fact, the mainstream press sat on whistleblower Ron Ridenhour's warnings about My Lai for a year before Seymour Hersh and the scruffy Dispatch News Service finally broke the silence.)
Grim also suggested that the Biden administration might want to bring justice to the perpetrators of these alleged war crimes. "One of the most outspoken proponents of bringing a fine legal eye to war has been Avril Haines, who will be Joe Biden's Director of National Intelligence," Grim observes. "She'll have the authority and the ability to discover who in the CIA was involved in these operations, and bring them to justice."
This is a forlorn hope given the Obama administration's failure to go after war crimes committed by the CIA under George W. Bush. Further, Biden himself is ambiguous on Afghanistan in a way that calls to mind Trump himself.
As Quincy Institute president Andrew Bacevich noted in The Nation earlier this month, Biden "wants to have it both ways" on the Afghan war. Biden will occasionally say, "These 'forever wars' have to end," but he will also say that America needs to keep a contingent of forces in Afghanistan. As Bacevich observes, "Biden proposes to declare that the longest war in US history has ended, while simultaneously underwriting its perpetuation." Biden's support for a light military footprint could very easily lead him to the same position as Trump: using covert CIA operations to maintain American power in Afghanistan with minimal use of uniformed troops. This is a recipe for more massacres.
Writing in The Washington Post last month, veteran Afghanistan analyst Carter Malkasian made a compelling case that the United States is facing a "stark choice" between "complete withdrawal by May or keeping 2,500 troops in place indefinitely to conduct counterterrorism operations and to try to prevent the collapse of the Afghan government. There's no doubt that withdrawal will spell the end of the Afghan government that the United States has supported for 19 years."
Malkasian makes clear that the counterterrorism operations would merely be an exercise of staving off defeat, with no prospect of an end to the war. Given the enormous moral costs of this counterterrorism, unflinchingly described by The Intercept , the argument for complete withdrawal becomes stronger.
It's likely that Biden will continue the policy of previous presidents of kicking the can down the road by using covert CIA operators to fend off defeat. But Americans should have no illusions: That means perpetuation of horrific war crimes in a conflict that cannot be won.
Dec 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jeffrey Kaye , Dec 28 2020 21:03 utc | 16
"Human rights" agitprop has long been a staple of US imperialist propaganda. As the Grayzone website pointed out earlier this year, "HRW was founded during the height of the Cold War as Helsinki Watch, an anti-Soviet lobby group closely linked to the US government and funded by the Ford Foundation, which served as a CIA passthrough."
The hysterical propaganda against communist nations and fighters goes hand in hand with the bombs, torture and assassination that are US/British/French/NATO specialties. The modern version of "human rights" campaigning was born out of the US defeat in Vietnam, and the spate of revelations that came out of that period about US crimes (Pentagon Papers, Church Senate investigations, Winter Soldier, etc.) in an attempt to rebrand the Vietnam war criminals as some sort of humanitarians. The Helsinki Accords were a US propaganda program that the misguided leaders of the USSR, along with Tito, etc. approved with the vain hope of detente and peaceful cooperation between nations. In reality, the US never wanted such peaceful coexistence.
Thanks, b, for bucking the anti-China propaganda campaign. The Pentagon and CIA still lick their wounds from the last time they faced Chinese forces in battle. Their dream of anti-Communist conquest of China and North Korea (assisted by their supposedly docile Japanese assistants) is as dangerous as their dream of dismembering Russia and turning all of the Eurasian landmass into a colony for US (and Japanese) exploitation. There lies the fuse for WW3, and the end deaths of hundreds of millions.
Now is the time for every person of clear mind to oppose these mad dreams of conquest! The lies that have and are being told about Russia and China (only occasionally rooted in some actual injustice) are being churned out daily by the CIA and Pentagon propaganda machine. Their purpose is to rally the population for war. Soon the hammer will drop harder on the US and West Europe/Australian population, as the persecution of Julian Assange suggests, as the ruling elite tighten up the repression needed to pull off their genocidal war.
Antiwar7 , Dec 28 2020 21:19 utc | 17Canadian Cents , Dec 28 2020 21:39 utc | 19
Former senior CIA official John Stockwell discusses how the CIA would place false reports in newspapers around the world, including in the Washington Post. Stories that were complete fabrications, that were attacking their enemies, like Cuba.
John Stockwell interview
What a courageous man Stockwell is, to give up his career, his support network, and invite attacks from one of the most dangerous organizations around.Red Ryder , Dec 29 2020 3:48 utc | 30
Second the 15-minute clip that Antiwar7 @17 posted. Just saw that one about 3 weeks ago. It's from 1983, an interview on the University of Southern California campus. Everyone should watch it if they haven't already.
(There are also YouTube vids with German journalist Udo Ulfkotte who's been mentioned here before that are related to this.)
Met John Stockwell a few times. He's a terrific guy.
Working for the NSC in the White House, he created the false stories about the Cuban soldiers raping nuns in Angola. That was his job. He's been around in public since the '80s but never got any Media attention.
He also was CIA officer in the Vietnam Highlands working with the Hmong against the government. He married a Vietnamese.
When the US pullout was ordered he was also ordered to sacrifice 150 agents in the Highlands who worked for him. The US wouldn't take them out.
His book "In Search of Enemies" is vital to read. He testified to Congress about the machinations of Henry Kissinger that were illegal, antithetical to US best interests, but no one gave a damn. Left him out on the limb.
John Stockwell is a great voice of the Truth. A good man.
Dec 29, 2020 | nationalinterest.org
Before our national self-inquest on Donald Trump has run its course, we will be prompted to remember again that the world exists. President-elect Joe Biden's appointments at the departments of defense, state, and the national security council are likely to include some combination of Michele Flournoy, Jake Sullivan, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and others of the globalization group around Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. These people believe in the rightness of a world with the United States at its center, deploying commercial strength, trade agreements, diplomatic suasion, and military alliances in a judicious synthesis. Armed intervention, preferably multilateral, is held in reserve. They take on trust the global politics of neoliberalism. For them, the Trump presidency, though unanticipated, was merely a disagreeable hiatus. They have never stopped planning for their return.SPONSORED CONTENT
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They did not study the catastrophe of Vietnam, and they have not learned from it. As Gareth Porter showed in Perils of Dominance , that war, whose atrocities the world remembers more vividly than Americans do, was protracted not from morbid credulity regarding the domino theory but rather a primitive fear of losing face. It was carried forward through presidencies in both parties with a maximum of deception. The War in Afghanistan has similarly extended over three presidencies; and yet, to the neoliberal establishment, Afghanistan in 2020 is a good deal like Vietnam in 1971. It must not be "abandoned." A recent New York Times story praised some generals for "tempering" the rashness of Donald Trump's attempt to withdraw once and for all.
For reasons of personality that hardly bear looking into, Trump in foreign policy represented a break from the militarized globalism the United States had adopted with the fall of the Soviet Union and the coming of a unipolar world. The laboratory for this approach was the Yugoslavia intervention commandeered by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. The madness under the idealism was revealed in the bombing, invasion, and occupation of Iraq in 2003. That seems a long generation ago, to the short memory of Americans. Even more thoroughly forgotten has been the Libya War -- President Obama's disastrous bid to show support for the Arab Spring -- with all the destruction it wrought: the civil war that followed, the swollen mass migrations from North Africa to South Europe, the opening of slave markets in Libya itself. After Libya came Syria, in which the United States supported an Al Qaeda offshoot in another humanitarian cause. After Syria came the Obama-Trump support for the Saudi obliteration of Yemen.
The United States has long faced the peculiar choice -- messianic on both sides -- of serving the world as an exemplary nation or as an evangelical one. The former image was best drawn by Abraham Lincoln when he said that the proposition "all men are created equal" was meant as "a standard maxim for free society," which would be "constantly approximated" in the United States itself, "constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere." By contrast, the evangelical image was epitomized by John Kennedy's eloquent and dangerous inaugural address: "we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Lincoln's standard maxim meant the force of our example. Kennedy's bear any burden meant the force of our weapons.
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A new Cold War with Russia was dragged onto center stage in 2013–2014. The process began at the Sochi Olympics and was locked in by the American reaction to the Russian reaction to the coup in Ukraine. The neoliberal elite is deciding, at this moment, whether to prefer Russia or China as the number-one U.S. enemy on the horizon. But must we have one? "Faith in a fact can help create the fact," said William James. A named expectation of trouble creates the conditions for that trouble. And yet, informed citizens today in the United States, in China, and in Russia all know that such a return to the inveterate habits of the old Great Powers would be supremely irresponsible. Our most dire confrontation now is with the natural world, which, in the form of climate change, is taking its revenge on humanity for a century of abuse.SPONSORED CONTENT
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If the fires and floods of the last many years, in Australia and California, in Prague and Houston, have nothing to say to you, it is not clear what planet you are fit to live on. The best thing the policy elite could do, for the United States and the world, would be to put themselves out of business. Begin a series of international agreements to cooperate in slowing the progress of climate change, and in anticipating and defending against the worst of its effects. Practically speaking, as a matter of course, this will require a new ethic of international cooperation. Not war, not even an enhanced trade war, and not with China and Russia most of all.
David Bromwich is Sterling Professor of English at Yale University. He is the author of American Breakdown:
Dec 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
arby , Dec 28 2020 0:24 utc | 58
I found this article interesting as well as the quote at the beginning.
Why Russia Saved the United States
Dec 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
alaff , Dec 27 2020 23:20 utc | 45
One of the leading Russian political scientists in his recent article stated that in fact, Russia was parting with any illusions about relations with the West. Well, it is quite a natural outcome of the outgoing year, given the behavior of "Western partners". Blind hatred, streams of endless lies and slander, frankly clownish amateur stagings like "Navalny's poisoning", a non-stop conveyor of illegitimate unilateral discriminatory measures (they call them sanctions), insane and unacceptable rhetoric of Western officials... Well, sooner or later any patience comes to an end.
Dec 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Unipolar Vs Multipolar: The Death Of McKinley & The Loss Of America's Soul BY TYLER DURDEN SATURDAY, DEC 26, 2020 - 23:30
Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Saker blog,
On December 17, 2020, a new US Maritime strategy was unveiled putting into practice the regressive concepts first outlined in the early National Defense Strategy 2020 doctrine which target China and Russia as the primary enemies of the USA and demanding that the USA be capable to " defeat our adversaries while we accelerate development of a modernized integrated all-domain naval force of the future".
The Pentagon's Advantages at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power continued by saying "China's and Russia's revisionist approaches in the maritime environment threaten US interests, undermine alliances and partnerships and degrade the free and open international order moreover, China's and Russia's aggressive naval growth and modernization are eroding US institutional advantages."
The document continued to describe that "we must operate more assertively to prevail in day-to-day competition as we uphold the rules-based order and deter our competitors from pursuing armed aggression ready, forward-deployed naval forces will adopt a more assertive posture in day to day operations"
For anyone who has been paying attention to the vast growth of the Pentagon's Full Spectrum containment policy around China's perimeter begun with Obama's Asia Pivot, it may appear as though these words are not new, but just a continuation of American unipolar agenda, Pacific war games, and psychological projection onto perceived enemies, that have been underway for years. While this is certainly true, it must be noted that they are occurring at a time that NATO 2030 has enshrined an anti-China military posture into the Trans Atlantic security doctrine which had formerly channeled most of its hate purely onto Russia.
The fact is those unipolar zombies programmed to think in no other terms but global post-nation state dominance are deathly afraid of the Russia-China bond of survival which has created a uniquely viable foundation for an alternative economic/security architecture for the world. This model is based on a system of finance that defines money not in speculative but rather long-term development of the real economic foundations of life. It also features a strong emphasis on win-win cooperation as opposed to Hobbesian zero-sum logic dominant among western powers, and it also finds itself driven by OPEN system economic practices shaped by unbounded scientific and technological progress that once upon a time guided America's better traditions.
With the obvious threat of nuclear war breaking out between a collapsing unipolar order in the west and an emergent Multipolar alliance, it is important to review what possible latent policy traditions may yet be revived within America's history which certain forces have worked very hard to scrub out of the historical record and memory. This study will take us to the incredible fights that arose over America's identity at the turn of the 20th century during the period of President William McKinley and the treasonous anglophile President of vice, Theodore Roosevelt.Munroe Doctrine or Empire?
As Martin Sieff eloquently laid out in his recent article , President McKinley himself was an peacemaker, anti-imperialist of a higher order than most people realize. McKinley was also a strong supporter of two complementary policies: 1) Internally, he was a defender of Lincoln's "American system" of protectionism, internal improvements and black suffrage and 2) Externally, he was a defender of the Munroe Doctrine that defined America's anti-imperial foreign policy since 1823.
The Munroe Doctrine's architect John Quincy Adams laid out this principle eloquently on July 4, 1821:
"After fifty years the United States has, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations, while asserting and maintaining her own.
That the United States does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
That by involving itself in the internal affairs of other nations, the United States would destroy its own reason of existence; the fundamental maxims of her policy would become, then, no different than the empire America's revolution defeated. It would be, then, no longer the ruler of itself, but the dictator of the world."
America's march is the march of mind, not of conquest.
Colonial establishments are engines of wrong, and that in the progress of social improvement it will be the duty of the human family to abolish them".
It was an aging John Quincy Adams whom a young Abraham Lincoln collaborated with in ending the imperial Mexican-American war under Wall Street stooge James Polk in 1846. When Adams died in 1848, Lincoln picked up the torch he left behind as the London-directed "proto deep state" of the 19th century worked to dissolve the republic from within. The foreign policy conception laid out by Adams ensured that America's only concern was "staying out of foreign imperial entanglements" as Washington had earlier warned and keeping foreign imperial interests out of the Americas. The idea of projecting power onto the weak or subduing other cultures was anathema to this genuinely American principle.
A major battle which has been intentionally obscured from history books took place in the wake of Lincoln's murder and the re-ascension of the City of London-backed slave power during the decades after the Union victory of 1865. On the one hand America's role in the emerging global family of nations was being shaped by followers of Lincoln who wished to usher in an age of win-win cooperation. Such an anti-Darwinian system which Adams called " a community of principle " asserted that each nation had the right to sovereign banking controls over private finance, productive credit emissions tied to internal improvements with a focus on continental (rail/road) development, industrial progress and full spectrum economies. Adherents of this program included Russia's Sergei Witte and Alexander II, Germany's Otto von Bismarck, France's Sadi Carnot, and leading figures within Japan's Meiji Restoration.
On the other hand, "eastern establishment families" of the USA more loyal to the gods of money, hereditary institutions and the vast international empire of Britain saw America's destiny tied to an imperial global partnership with the Mother country. These two opposing paradigms within America have defined two opposing views of "progress", "value", "self-interest" and "law" which have continued to shape the world over 150 years later.William Gilpin vs Alfred Mahan: Two Paradigms Clash
A champion of the former traditionally American outlook who rose to the international scene was William Gilpin (1813-1894). Gilpin hailed from a patriotic family of nation builders whose patriarch Thomas Gilpin was a close ally of Benjamin Franklin and leading member of Franklin's Philosophical Society. William Gilpin was famous for his advocacy of America's trans continental railway whose construction he proselytized as early as 1845 (it was finally begun by Lincoln during the Civil War and completed in 1869 as I outlined in my previous paper How to Save a Dying Republic ).
In his thousands of speeches and writings, Gilpin made it known that he understood America's destiny to be inextricably tied to the ancient civilization of China- not to impose opium as the British and their American lackies were want to do, but to learn from and even emulate!
In 1852, Gilpin stated:
"Salvation must come to America from China, and this consists in the introduction of the "Chinese constitution" viz. the "patriarchal democracy of the Celestial Empire". The political life of the United States is through European influences, in a state of complete demoralization, and the Chinese Constitution alone contains elements of regeneration. For this reason, a railroad to the Pacific is of such vast importance, since by its means the Chinese trade will be conducted straight across the North American continent. This trade must bring in its train Chinese civilization. All that is usually alleged against China is mere calumny spread purposefully, just like those calumnies which are circulated in Europe about the United States".
With Lincoln's 1861 presidential victory, Gilpin became Lincoln's bodyguard and ensured the president survived his first assassination attempt en route to Washington from Illinois. During the Civil War, Gilpin was made Colorado's first Governor where he successfully stopped the southern power from opening up a western front during the war of secession (applying Lincoln's greenback system to finance his army on a state level) and winning the " Battle of Glorieta Pass ", thus saving the union.
After the war Gilpin became a leading advocate of the internationalization of the "American system of political economy" which Lincoln applied vigorously during his short-lived presidency. Citing the success of Lincoln's system, Gilpin said:
"No amount of argument will make America adopt old world theories To rely upon herself, to develop her own resources, to manufacture everything that can possibly be manufactured within her territory- this is and has been the policy of the USA from the time of Alexander Hamilton to that of Henry Clay and thence to our own days".
Throughout his speeches Gilpin emphasizes the role of a U.S.-Russia alliance:
"It is a simple and plain proposition that Russia and the United States, each having broad, uninhabited areas and limitless undeveloped resources, would by the expenditure of 2 or 3 hundred millions apiece for a highway of the nations threw their now waste places, add a hundredfold to their wealth and power and influence"
And seeing in China's potential the means to re-enliven the world- including the decadent and corrupt culture of Europe:
"In Asia a civilization resting on a basis of remote antiquity has had, indeed, a long pause, but a certain civilization- although hitherto hermetically sealed up has continued to exist. The ancient Asiatic colossus, in a certain sense, needed only to be awakened to new life and European culture finds a basis there on which it can build future reforms."
In opposition to the outdated British controls of "chock points" on the seas which kept the world under the clutches of the might of London, Gilpin advocated loudly for a system of internal improvements, rail development, and growth of the innate goodness of all cultures and people through scientific and technological progress. Once a global system of mutual development of rail were established, Gilpin stated "in the shipment of many kinds of raw and manufactured goods, it will largely supersede the ocean traffic of Great Britain, in whose hands is now carrying the trade of the world."
Gilpin's vision was most clearly laid out in his 1890 magnum opus "The Cosmopolitan Railway" which featured designs for development corridors across all continents united by a "community of principle".
Echoing the win-win philosophy of Xi Jinping's New Silk Road today, Gilpin stated:Mahan Derails America's Anti-Imperial Identity
"The cosmopolitan railway will make the whole world one community. It will reduce the separate nations to families of our great nation From extended intercommunication will arise a wider intercourse of human ideas and as the result, logical and philosophical reciprocities, which will become the germs for innumerable new developments; for in the track of intercommunication, enterprise and invention invariably follow and whatever facilitates one stimulates every other agency of progress."
Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) represented an opposing paradigm which true American statesmen like Lincoln, Secretary of State James Blaine, William Seward, President Grant, William Garfield, and McKinley detested. Sadly, with McKinley's murder ( run by an anarchist ring with ties to British Intelligence ) and the rise of Teddy Roosevelt in 1901, it was not Gilpin's but rather Mahan's worldview which became the dominant foreign policy doctrine for the next 120 years (despite a few brief respites under FDR and JFK).
Mahan is commonly credited for being a co-founder of modern geopolitics and an inspiration for Halford Mackinder. Having graduated from West Point's naval academy in 1859, Mahan soon became renowned as a total failure in actual combat having crashed warships repeatedly into moving and stationary objects during the Civil War. Since reality was not his forte, Mahan focused his post-war career on Ivory tower theorizing gushing over maps of the world and fawning over Britain's power as a force of world history.
His "Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660-1783 published in the same year that Gilpin published his Cosmopolitan Railway (1890) was a total break from the spirit of win-win cooperation that defined America's foreign policy. According to the Diplomat , this book soon "became the bible for many navies around the world" with the Kaiser of Germany (now released from the influence of the great rail-loving statesman Otto von Bismarck whom he fired in 1890) demanding all of his offers read. Later Teddy Roosevelt ordered copies for every member of Congress. In Mahan's book, the geopolitician continuously asserts his belief that it is America's destiny to succeed the British Empire.
Taking the British imperial definition of "commerce" which uses free trade as a cover for the military dominance of weak nations (open borders and turning off protectionism simply makes a people easier to rob), Mahan attempts to argue that America need not continue to adhere to "outdated" habits like the Munroe doctrine since the new order of world empires demands America stay relevant in a world of sea power and empire. Mahan writes : "The advance of Russia in Asia, in the division of Africa, in the colonial ambitions of France and in the British idea of Imperial Federation, now fast assuming concrete shape in practical combined action in South Africa" demands that the USA act accordingly.
Attempting to refute the "outdated habits" of rail development which consume so many foolish statesmen around the globe, Mahan states: "a railway competes in vain with a river because more facile and copious, water traffic is for equal distances much cheaper and because cheaper, more useful". Like those attacking today's Belt and Road Initiative, the power of railways is that their returns are not measurable by simple monetary terms, but are rather QUALITATIVE. The long-term construction of rail systems not only unite divided people, increase manufacturing and industrial corridors but also induce closer powers of association and interchange between agriculture and urban producers. These processes uplift national productive powers building full spectrum economies and also a culture's capacity for creative thought.
The attempt made to justify sea traffic merely because "larger amounts of goods can be shipped" is purely quantitative and monetaristic sophistry devoid of any science of real value.
While Gilpin celebrates the successful awakening of China and other great nations of the world, in the Problem of Asia (1901) Mahan says:
"It is scarcely desirable that so vast a proportion of mankind as the Chinese constitute should be animated by but one spirit". Should China "burst her barriers eastward, it would be impossible to exaggerate the momentous issues dependant upon a firm hold of the Hawaiian islands by a great civilized maritime power."
Mahan's adherence to social Darwinism is present throughout his works as he defines the political differences of the 3 primary branches of humanity (Teutonic, Slavic and Asiatic) as purely rooted in the intrinsic inferiority or superiority of their race saying: "There are well recognized racial divergencies which find concrete expression in differences equally marked of political institution, of social progress and of individual development. These differences are deep seated in the racial constitution and partly the result of the environment". Mahan goes onto restate his belief that unlike the superior Teutonics "the Oriental, whether national or individual does not change" and "the East does not progress".
Calling China a carcass to be devoured by an American eagle, Mahan writes: "If life departs, a carcass can be utilized only by dissection or for food; the gathering to it of the eagles is a natural law, of which it is bootless to complain the onward movement of the world has to be accepted as a fact."
Championing an Anglo American alliance needed to subdue and "civilize" China as part of the post-Boxer Rebellion, Mahan says " of all the nations we shall meet in the East, Great Britain is the one with which we have by far the most in common in the nature of our interests there and in our standards of law and justice".
In case there was any doubt in the minds of Mahan's readers as to the MEANS which America should assert its dominance onto China, Mahan makes clear his belief that progress is caused by 1) force and 2) war:A Last Anti-Imperial Push
"That such a process should be underlain by force on the part of outside influences, force of opposition among the latter themselves [speaking of the colonial European monarchies racing to carve up China in 1901 -ed] may be regrettable, but it is only a repetition of all history Every step forward in the march that has opened in China to trade has been gained by pressure; the most important have been the result of actual war."
The chaos induced by the anti-foreigner Boxer Rebellion of 1899 which spread quickly across China resulted a heated battle between imperial and anti-imperial forces in both Russia and the USA. Where Transport Minister Sergei Witte who spearheaded the development of the Trans Siberian rail line (1890-1905) tried to avoid military entanglement, McKinley was busy doing the same.
The boxers soon attacked the Manchurian rail connecting Russia to China by land and Witte succumbed to pressure to finally send in troops. The reformers of China who attempted to modernize with American and Russian assistance under Emperor Kuang Hsu and Li Hung Chang fell from power as total anarchy reigned. The outcome of the Boxer chaos involved the imperial powers of France, Germany and England demanding immense financial reparations, ownership of Chinese territory and mass executions of the Boxers.
While McKinley is often blamed for America's imperial turn, the reality is just the opposite.
The Spanish-American war begun in 1898 was actually launched unilaterally by Anglophilic racist Theodore Roosevelt who used the 4 hour window he had while Undersecretary of the Navy (while the actual Secretary was out of Washington) to send orders to Captain Dewey of the Pacific fleet to engage in a fight with the Spanish over their Philippine territories. McKinley had resisted the war hawks until that point but found himself finally bending to the momentum. In China, McKinley, like Witte worked desperately to reject taking territory resulting in great fears from the British oligarchy that a U.S.-Russia alliance led by McKinley and Witte was immanent.
The assassination of McKinley on September 18, 1901 catapulted Mahan-loving Vice President Teddy Roosevelt into high office, who enmeshed America into a new epoch of Anglo-American imperialism abroad, a growth of eugenics and segregation at home and the creation of an independent police state agency called the FBI .
As Sieff writes :
"Roosevelt devoted his next eight years in the presidency and the rest of his life to integrating the United States and the British Empire into a seamless web of racial imperialist oppression that dominated Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and that destroyed the cultural history and heritage of the Native North American nations."
In Russia, the 1902 Anglo-Japan Treaty led to the disastrous Japan-Russo war of 1905 which devastated the Russian navy, ended the political career of Sergei Witte and threw Russia into chaos leading to the fall of the Romanovs (Czar Nicholas II was the last statesman occupying high office that this author is aware of to have actively promoted the Bering Strait Tunnel rail connection in 1906 . It wasn't until FDR's Vice President Henry Wallace met with Foreign Minister Molotov in 1942 that the idea resurfaced once more ).
In his Two Peoples One Friendship , Wallace described his discussions with Foreign Minister Molotov in 1942 saying:
" Of all nations, Russia has the most powerful combination of a rapidly increasing population, great natural resources and immediate expansion in technological skills. Siberia and China will furnish the greatest frontier of tomorrow When Molotov [Russia's Foreign Minister] was in Washington in the spring of 1942 I spoke to him about the combined highway and airway which I hope someday will link Chicago and Moscow via Canada, Alaska and Siberia. Molotov, after observing that no one nation could do this job by itself, said that he and I would live to see the day of its accomplishment. It would mean much to the peace of the future if there could be some tangible link of this sort between the pioneer spirit of our own West and the frontier spirit of the Russian East."
While the "open door" rape of the China was attempted by the Anglo-Americans, a fortunate rear guard maneuver orchestrated by another follower of Abraham Lincoln named Sun Yat-sen resulted in a surprise overthrow of the Manchu dynasty in 1911 and the institution of the Republic of China with Sun Yat-sen as the acting President. While Sun Yat-sen sided with Gilpin and Lincoln in opposition to the Mahanists on the issue of rail and industrial development (illustrated in his extraordinary 1920 International Development of China program which called for 160 000 km of rail, water diversion projects, ports and 1.5 million km of paved roads- illustrated below), the intrigues that sank the world into World War I made any hopes of this early development of China impossible in Sun Yat-sen's lifetime.
Expressing his own deep understanding of these top down tactics of world history (and the recognition that the same British imperial forces that orchestrated the US Civil War were planning to do the same to China), Sun Yat-sen wrote in 1912:
"We understand too well that there are certain men of power -- not to include for the present, certain nations -- who would view with a greater or lesser satisfaction an internal rupture in the new Republic [of China]. They would welcome, as a move toward the accomplishment of their own ends and designs, a civil war between the provinces of the North and the South; just as, 50 years ago, there was applause in secret (in certain quarters) over the terrible civil strife in the United States.
Americans of today who were alive in those dark days of the great republic will remember the feelings in the hearts of the people -- the bitter and painful thoughts that arose from the knowledge that foreigners were hoping and praying for the destruction of the American Union.
Had the war been successful from the South's standpoint, and had two separate republics been established, is it not likely that perhaps half a dozen or more weak nations would have eventually been established? I believe that such would have been the result; and I further believe that with the one great nation divided politically and commercially, outsiders would have stepped in sooner or later and made of America their own. I do not believe that I am stating this too forcibly. If so, I have not read history nor studied men and nations intelligently.
And I feel that we have such enemies abroad as the American republic had; and that at certain capitals the most welcome announcement that would be made would be that of a rebellion in China against the constituted authorities.
This is a hard statement to make; but I believe in speaking the truth so that all the world may know and recognize it."
Today's Belt and Road Initiative , and strategic friendship established between Russia and China has re-awoken the forgotten vision of William Gilpin for a world of cooperating sovereign nation states. Does the USA have the moral ability to avoid disintegration by accepting a Russia-U.S.-China alliance needed to revive McKinley's American System or will we slip into a new Great Reset and World War?
Dec 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Dec 24 2020 22:14 utc | 31
This Scott Ritter op/ed is a good read and puts much into perspective if you've been paying attention. For example, think of the breakneck speed Putin's trying to get Russia's national projects underway and completed. Think of the ongoing and quickening pace of Eurasian integration. The McFaul citation, "Russia is way more powerful today than it was 20 years ago, and it's way more powerful today than it was four years ago," is yet another consideration. Finally, Putin and Lavrov have spoken of the ever increasing need to negotiate an International Cyber Security Treaty for almost all of Trump's term. And I'll wager the USA's National Debt that Russia is very busily finishing its "for internal use only" internet that firewalls the energy, defense and communications portions of Russian infrastructure.
The hole Obama/Biden were busy digging from 2009-2017 is now much deeper and getting deeper daily. We've now seen the bipartisan rejection of the saner, larger, stimulus Trump and some Rs & Ds demanded for the commonfolk, which provides an excellent signal as to what's going to follow--nothing, aside from the hole deepening yet further. IMO, the economic draft will soon cease as who will want to defend something that's indefensible. IMO, a majority if not now will soon conclude that they no longer have a stake in this society, that they're being milked for all they're worth then discarded.
Dec 24, 2020 | www.rt.com
is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic 22 Dec, 2020 12:08 Joe Biden, set to be the oldest-ever US president, is actually on the younger side of people currently running the American political establishment, who show no sign of wanting to ever step aside for another generation.
It is often overlooked that Donald Trump currently holds the distinction of being the oldest-ever US president, being 70 at the time of his inauguration. Biden will take that trophy as well if he's inaugurated in January 2021, having turned 78 last month. Even so, he is actually younger than the current leaders of the House and the Senate!
Though all major power brokers in Washington are older than the "gerontocracy" that ruled the Soviet Union in the 1970s and the 1980s, you won't hear the US mainstream media make the comparison, as it wouldn't fit their Narrative.ALSO ON RT.COM 'What about Biden?' Conservatives ask after New Yorker breaks story on Sen. Dianne Feinstein's 'COGNITIVE DECLINE'
Sure, there has been some carefully calibrated talk about the "cognitive decline" of Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is 87. But Feinstein is from an overwhelmingly Democrat state and she can be easily replaced at the same time as Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate who still hasn't resigned her Senate seat.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is 80, and has raised eyebrows herself with the whole "Good Morning. Sunday Morning" glitch-in-the-Matrix behavior during a TV appearance in September.
Way back in 2018 , Pelosi insisted that any talk about wanting someone younger in the leadership position was "sexist," and went on to ruthlessly crush any opposition to her getting the gavel – and the power that went with it – inside the party. In the same interview, Pelosi blanked out on the name of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), calling him "whatshisname."
Born several months ahead of Biden in 1942, McConnell is 78 himself. He had a bout with polio when very young, and though successfully treated, he's had difficulty climbing stairs all his life. While he hasn't shown any signs of cognitive decline, his political choices as of late have certainly caused some Republicans to wonder if he's truly the legislative genius his supporters make him out to be.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is "only" 70, but has actually been in Congress longer than McConnell, if one counts his 18 years in the House before he got elected to the Senate in 1998.
Only House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 55, technically qualifies as a member of 'Generation X' rather than a Baby Boomer. Nor does he have any Cold War political baggage like the rest, having been in the House since only 2006. If the Republicans somehow win the House majority in 2022, he might gain more influence – but that's speculation at this point, on both counts.
Meanwhile, the young activist House members who came in with 2018's "Blue Wave," such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), are being kept in check by the old guard. Just last week, AOC was denied a spot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, thwarting her plans to push for her "Green New Deal" proposal.ALSO ON RT.COM We gotta talk about Joe Biden's cognitive decline because his US media cheerleaders won't it's so like the sad fate of Brezhnev
Compare this state of US politics with the notorious "gerontocracy" of the Soviet Union. Three aging Soviet leaders died in quick succession between 1982 and 1985, prompting then-US president Ronald Reagan to say "How am I supposed to get anyplace with the Russians if they keep dying on me?" Yet Reagan was 74 at the time, older than all three.
Leonid Brezhnev was 54 when he took over the Communist Party in 1964. For the sake of political stability, he remained a figurehead after his 1975 stroke and "ruled" the USSR until his death in 1982, as no one in the party could agree on who ought to succeed him. His 18-year tenure was later dubbed the "Brezhnev stagnation."
Former KGB chief Yuri Andropov, part of a triumvirate running things for the better part of Brezhnev's latter years, died himself at the age of 70 in 1984. He had led the Soviet Union for less than 16 months. Konstantin Chernenko, 73, took over from Andropov – and died in March 1985, after only 13 months in charge. His successor, Mikhail Gorbachev, was 54 at the time, two years younger than Kamala Harris is now.ALSO ON RT.COM Forget Joe Biden The big news is Kamala Harris, who is clearly being groomed to take over as president in 2024
In one of those strange intricacies of the American political system, Harris went from getting zero delegates in the Democrats' nomination process and dropping out before the first primary to being widely expected to take over from Biden sooner rather than later. One might say her relative youth and being a 'Woman Of Color' – an identity politics feature increasingly important to the Democrats – might spell the end of the Boomer dominance.
The thing to keep in mind, however, is that the "young reformer" Gorbachev managed to run the Soviet Union into the ground within five short years. In 1991, the old guard tried a military coup against him. Though Gorbachev survived the coup, the Soviet Union didn't. By the end of that year, the USSR had "dissolved," breaking up along Communist-drawn boundaries into independent and quasi-independent states.
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UKCitizen 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 08:34 AMNot only American politics but much of USA public life too. I believe one facet of rule by a gerontocracy is maintenance of the status quo; another is less control over younger and more vigorous members of society. The two come together in the rise of Silicon Valley and dominance of USA affairs by corporate interests. But nothing lasts forever and there are long cycles too. Little will change in the short term but I predict at least four years of more serious decline in America. The turning point will be final disillusionment with liberal-left politics (see K/r theory) and the arrival of some younger leaders, not yet known. Liberal-leftism will fail eventually for the simple reason it is founded in utopian like fantasies, disconnection with the real life (however harsh,and probably because it is harsh) but above all an attempt to spread finite resources veneer thin and remove any effort to get them (free everything and equality for all). America will come round eventually but it will be painful and will require it to revise much of its political structure to becoming a true democracy, which even I have realised it isn't, and probably only has been fleetingly since its founding. K/r theory is magnificently expounded in the 'The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics' and long cycles in 'Biohistory'. The former rings true on just about every page.KarlthePoet UKCitizen 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 11:35 AMAmerica is collapsing because its foundation is solidly built on lies. The US government and Wall Street are ultimately being controlled by the Jewish Banking Cartel. It cannot be denied. Take the Federal Reserve away and America collapses overnight. Trillions upon Trillions of dollars that are being printed out of thin air are keeping the failed system afloat, for now. A massive global economic collapse is imminent. Just watch. Happy HolidaysThomas74 17 hours ago 23 Dec, 2020 03:46 AMThere are clear parallels between the USSR and USA. The question is whether the leadership in the USA's leader class has the same self-awareness that arose at the top of the USSR in its last years. Also whether the American people will tolerate the economic hardship that the former Soviet peoples endured in the transition. Is this what we're seeing now with the coronavirus situation? A gradual taking down of expectations in the West behind the smokescreen of a virus?Anubis64 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 12:24 PMDear Nebojsa, So what? Andropov would have made a first-class statesman (give or take his infatuation with technocracy). Brezhnev was not only a hero but a capable statesman whose era is remembered with nostalgia. Let us focus on the fact that Russia's responses to the blows coming hard and fast are rather passive and lacking any historical vision. It is not age but will that matters.Anubis64 Anubis64 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 12:53 PMThen, a young scoundrel was brought in by the shady Yakovlev character and destroyed the greatest country in the world in less than a decade. May the same happen to the insufferable Americans.Krieger 1 hour ago 23 Dec, 2020 08:34 PMI think this is mostly apples and oranges. In the USSR, the "old guard" were patriots who wanted to preserve their country. The "young reformers" were traitors who wanted to destroy their own country to benefit their Western masters and personally enrich themselves. In the USA, on the other hand, both the young and old politicians are totally corrupt and want to maintain the status quo, which is slowly destroying the country from within.Mira Golub 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 10:17 AMAmerica is ruled by mobster clans, the puppets are indeed resemble walking dead. Russian imbecile liberal pro Western 2% 'opposition' though are getting their jollies by calling Putin who is 68 'grandpa'. Bunch of degenerates.Marek Weglinski 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 08:25 AMMaybe it's a telltale that the Soviet-like demise for the US is near. Hopefully the American empire will not come to a SUPERNOVA-like ending (inflicting great damage to the rest of the world), before turning itself into a dwarf.Ohhho Marek Weglinski 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 11:37 AMThe Evil empire will implode and take the rest of the world down with it, that's the problem! USSR had it's own economic system pretty much isolated from the Western world, and when that system collapsed the effect was felt all around the satellite countries for years!
Dec 21, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
BY AJAMU BARAKAFacebook Twitter Reddit Email
The ascendancy of neoliberal forces to the executive branch of the U.S. state represents a development that potentially will be even a more dangerous period of aggression from the U.S. white supremacist settler state and its white supremacist colonial European allies.
Why is this so? The primary agenda of the right-wing neoliberal forces represented by the Biden Administration is to reassert U.S. global leadership by reconsolidating a common U.S.-European capitalist program of domination that was disrupted with the "America first" positions of the Trump Administration.
The Biden Administration is animated by the belief that the objective logic of overall Western hegemony is tied to finding a way for more effective collaboration around a common imperialist agenda. This belief is shared by Angela Merkel of Germany, and despite some contrary public declarations from French President Macron on issue of European independence, Macron sees an effective Western alliance as critical, even if it is under U.S. leadership once again.
The racialist character if these appeals are obvious to those of us who operate from a critical anti-colonialist frame that centers race and violence as the essential elements of the rise of the Pan-European white supremacist colonial/capitalist patriarchal project. The commitment to continued white colonial/capitalist global hegemonic dominance is clear. Biden's objective to revive a U.S. hegemonic role over the Western project of collective